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

Welcome! to Issue 75 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine

And here we are again, I just don’t know where the days go. We are in May already, which means beautiful sunny days, spring flowers, wildlife at every turn and lots of events to visit. I do believe our period of hibernation is officially over! This month we have another busy issue for you. We are covering all sorts - from writing competitions, gardening, golf, a new currency for the area and so many things to do! Warning: cuppa recommended before reading! The longer evenings mean that Rob and I can now get out on the bikes more often. We need to prepare our bodies for the six consecutive days in the saddle in September. Thankfully we still have time to train, but we know how quickly the time passes don’t we?! Well, onwards and upwards - hope to see you out and about very soon - and keep your eyes peeled for us flashing past in all that lycra!

à plus, Sarah

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

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

112 European Emergency 113 Drugs and Alcohol

Contents Getting Out & About Clubs & Associations Hobbies A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres Health, Beauty & Fitness Home & Garden Our Furry Friends Take a Break Where We Live Communications Food & Drink Motoring Building & Renovation Business & Finance Property

6 12 14 17 18 19 24 25 26 30 32 37 39 44 48

This Month’s Advertisers ABORDimmo Accents Association (English language skills for children) Ace Pneus (Tyre Fitting) Affordable UK Designs (Kitchens & UPVC Double Glazing) AKE Petit Travaux (Builder) A La Bonne Vie (Restaurant & Auberge) Amanda Johnson - The Spectrum IFA Group Andrew Longman (Plumbing & Heating) ARB French Property Arbrecadabra Tree Surgery Arbres et Abeilles (Plant Nursery) Argo Carpentry

49 10 38 2 41 35 47 43 51 21 20 40

Assurances Maucourt (GAN Parthenay) 48 Bayleaf Books (Books in English) 9 Beau Jardin (Garden Care) 21 BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want 46 Bill McEvoy (Plumber/Heating Engineer) 43 Blevins Franks Financial Management 45 Camping Les Prairies du Lac 48 Château du Pont Jarno Pépinière 20 Cherry Picker Hire 39 Chris Bassett Construction 41 Chris Parsons (Heating/Electrical/Plumbing) 43 Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) 6 CJ Electricité 42 Clare Lane (Agent Commercial) 49 Clean Sweep Chimney Services 42 Cottage Services (Garden Maintenance) 20 Currencies Direct - Sue Cook 47 Darren Lawrence 40 David Cropper (Stump Grinding) 21 David Watkins Chimney Sweep 42 Deb Challacombe (Online counsellor) 18 Domaine de l’enchantoir (Vineyard and wine tasting) 32 Down to Earth Pool Design 48 Ecopower Europe  42 Expat-radio 31 Franglais Deliveries (Transport & Removal Services) 38 Fresco Interiors 19 Ginger’s Kitchen 35 Gîte La Gatinelle (Holiday accommodation) 49 Gites.co.uk 51 Hallmark Electricité 42 Helen Booth (deVere Group) 44 HMJ Maintenance 41 Hope 3 Day Booksale 24 Inter Décor (Tiles & Bathrooms) 40 Irving Location - Digger Hire and Gravel deliveries 39 Jean-Luc Thierens (Excavation work) 39 Jeff’s Metalwork 41 John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic 38 Jon the Carpetman 19 Keith Banks (Pool Services) 48 La Deuxième Chance (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier) 19 La Petite Noisette Bar & Restaurant 36 La Vie en Yoga 18 Leggett Immobilier 50 Le Regal’on Bar & Restaurant 35 Mark Sabestini Renovation & Construction 41 Mark Wilson (Language Assistance) 11 Me and Mrs Jones (Property Cleaning Services) 19 Michael Glover (Renderer, Plasterer, Tiler) 40 Michael Page Landscaping 21 ML Computers 31 Motor Parts Charente 38 Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances 48 Needa Hand Services (Grass cutting etc.) 20 Pamela Irving (Massage & Reflexology) 18 Pause! Café, L’Absie 8 Polar Express (Frozen Foods) 36 Projet Piscine (Swimming Pool solutions) 48 Reaction Theatre 7 Restaurant des Canards 35 Rob Berry Plastering Services 40 Robert Lupton Electrician 42 Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) 30 Sarl Down to Earth Construction (Groundworks and Micro Station Installer) 39 Satellite TV 31 SCP Louis Cagniart & Christel Roy Notaires 49 Segora International Writing Competitions 14 Short Cuts (Mobile Dog Grooming) 24 Simon the Tiler 40 Smart Moves (Transport Services) 38 Steve Coupland (Property Services) 40 Steve Robin (Plumber) 43 Strictly Roofing 41 Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) 11 Terra Flore (Landscape Gardening) 21 The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre 38 Val Assist (Translation Services) 11 Vendée Glass Courses 16 Webservices.Dramatis 31 YesBays.info (Free ads website) 31

© Sarah Berry 2017. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. While care is taken to ensure that articles and features are accurate, Sarah Berry accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction. The opinions expressed and experiences shared are given by individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the publisher. Please ensure you verify that the company you are dealing with is a registered trading company in France and/or elsewhere. It is strongly advised to check details of published events with other sources before setting out on long journeys. <<The Deux-Sèvres Monthly>> est édité par Sarah Berry, 3 La Bartière, 79130, Secondigny. Tél: 05 49 70 26 21. Directeur de la publication et rédacteur en chef: Sarah Berry. Crédits photos: Sarah Berry, Clkr, Shutterstock et Pixabay. Impression: Graficas Piquer SL, 29 Al Mediterraneo, Pol. Ind. San Rafael, 04230, Huércal de Almeria, Espagne. Dépôt légal: mai 2017 - Tirage: 5000 exemplaires. Siret: 515 249 738 00011 ISSN: 2115-4848 TVA: FR 03 515 249 738

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 3

What ’s On... EXHIBITION Until 31st May «Une passion qui donne des ailes» ‘A passion that gives wings’ in Niort. www.archives.deux-sevres.com Until 18th June – Festival Printemps du Thouet. Activities, shows, hikes, visits, nature outings, cultural walks. Find program online at: www.tourisme-deux-sevres.com or see poster on P.7. 1 - fête du travail 1 - Jardiniers du Paradis Fêtes de

plantes in Champdeniers, 9.30am – 6pm. Visit www.tourisme-deux-sevres.com 1 - Vide Grenier at Fenery. See ad P.6 2 - Tax Return assistance with Val at Pause! Café L’Absie. See P.11 for details. 3 - Tax Return assistance

with Val at Bar Le Lotus, Fontenay-le-Comte

4 - Quiz Night

at A La Bonne Vie Restauarant, Le Beugnon. See advert on P.35 5 - Tax Return assistance with Val at Café Cour du Miracle, Vouvant

5 & 6 - Theatrivasles performs Ladies’ Day. See advert on P.6 5, 6, 7 - Festival Courants Rock

in La Tranche-sur-Mer (85). At locations La Grière, la Terrière, the town centre and Pôle Culturel Floralies. Find out more at www. latranchesurmer.fr 6 - Coffee & cake morning at Bienvenue B&B in L’absie 10.30am - 1pm to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. Frenchic paint products and books will also be on sale. 6 - The Blackhall Duo perform at Restuarant des Canards, Chef Boutonne. See advert on P. 35 7 - Fundraising sale for Cats. At St. Germain de Longue-Chaume from 10am - 4pm. See details on P.24. 8 - FÊTE DE LA VICTOIRE 9 - tax return assistance with Isabelle

Want in allianz office, Ruffec. See P.45 11 - Tax Return assistance with Val at Pause! Café L’Absie 12 - tax return assistance with Isabelle Want in Sauzé-Vaussais. See P.45 12 & 13 - REACTION THEATRE PERFORMS The Shakespeare Revue in

Secondigny (see adert on P.7)

12,13,14 - HOPE’s 3 Day Booksale.

Rally. See page 36 of April’s ‘The DSM’ for

13 - Morning Rando at Mouzé

21 - Fête du Pain at St-Amand-Sur-Sèvre,

See advert on P.24

Thouarsais. Come to discover the butterflies, the spring flora and its many orchids during a morning walk in the valley of the pressoir. More info at www.dsne.org 13 & 14 - American Show in Ensigné. See details on P.9 13 - Houses for Sale in St Loup Lamaire If you are looking for a house

in a peaceful and charming town, then the beautiful village of Saint-Loup-Lamaire should be on your list. Many properties offered at negotiated prices!

13 - evening Rando in Souvigné 13 - Fishing for Trout competition in

La Réorthe 85210 www.leboncoin.fr 13 - Spring market in Saint-Laurent-surSèvre 85290 14 – Vide Grenier at St Maixent l’École



21 - Vide Grenier in Bressuire 21 - Plant Sale & Vide Grenier in

Ardilleux. Village market of plants, farm products and crafts 21 - 4 Course Sunday Lunch by Ginger’s Kitchen at Salle de Maisontiers. Reserve by email: gingers.kitchen@orange.fr 21 - FÊte de Cigogne in Saint-Denisdu-Payré 85580. Farmers market, walks to discover stork’s nests, plant faire, drawing competition, vide grenier. 24, 25, 26, 27 - Festival de la Deferlante

See details on P.9 www.ladeferlante.com 25 - ascension

14 - Fish n Chips & Vide Grenier

At Jan Smith’s, La Ferriere-en-Parthenay from 10am- 4pm. Please see details on P.10 or call Jan on 05 49 70 62 18. 14 - Live Opera Broadcast from the Royal Opera House in London: ‘Madame Butterfly’ at 4.30pm. Showing at Cinema Le Foyer, Parthenay. 14 - Rando & Picnic in Mignon. Annual ride with two circuits (8km and 13km), plus a farmers’ market of local producers (Butcher, bee-keeper, wine, oyster farmer etc.) Departing between 8.30am and 10.30am. There will be a picnic area provided. 5€ for adults, 2€ for children. 14 - Plant SWAP in Chantecorps from 9.30am. 18 - Wellbeing workshop in L’Absie. ‘Women’s Health... Natural Remedies’ by Julie Hutchison of Neils Yard. Neil Yard teas and Super-food Nibbles made from ‘Deliciously Ella’ recipes. 10€ per person. 2.30pm Contact Julie on juliehutchison67@ gmail.com or 06 72 22 20 14. 19 & 20 - REACTION THEATRE PERFORMS The Shakespeare Revue in

Foussais-Payre (see advert on P.7)

20 & 21 - Fête du Pain at Clessé

Farmers market on Sunday

20 & 21 - Classic Val de Sèvre Car

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

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


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


Etusson La Coudre St Martin de Sanzay

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

OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

La Vendée Chippy Weds: ‘Pub Le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges Thurs: Bar ‘Chill-Out’, Mervent Fri: Bar ‘Le Clemenceau’, Mouilleron-en-Pareds Sat: 1st of month : Bar ‘Le Marmiton’, Antigny Sat 27 May: Bar ‘Le Chaps’, La Chapelle Thireuil Tel: 02 44 39 16 73 www.lavendeechippy.com OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

MR T’S FRITERIE Regular venues at:

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

OPEN 6 .30- 9pm + Find us at Hope’s Booksale!



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

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

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


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

3rd June – The Doodahs charity walk 4th June - Vide Grenier at Pause! Café L’Absie 8th June - Ian’s Orange Day for Cancer Research. Fundraising event held at the home of Caroline Self. See details on P.36 10th June - Live music night at Restaurant des Canards, Chef Boutonne. See advert on P.35. 10th & 11th June – Salon des Metiers d’Art in Ruffec 10th & 11th June - Highland Games in Bressuire. See P.10 11th June - Treasure Hunt around Parthenay. See P.8 for info 11th June - Open Gardens at Le Busseau. See P.20 for details. 15th June - closing date for Segora International Writing Competitions

ALL SAINTS, VENDÉE - Puy de Serre We hold two services each month (+ Sunday school), on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11am. After each service, tea and coffee are served in the parish room and everyone is invited to a `bring and share’ lunch. For details of all our activities, our Services in the west of the Vendée, copies of recent newsletters and more information, please check our website: www.allsaintsvendee.fr

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2017 1st May 8th May 25th May

Fête du Travail Fête de la Victoire Ascension

5th June

Lundi de Pentecôte

14th July 15th August

Fête Nationale Assomption Fête des Grand-pères

1st November 11th November 25th December

Toussaint Armistice Noël

28th May 4th June 18th June 21st June 1st October 31st October

The Rendez-Vous Christian Fellowship welcome you to any of our meetings held throughout the month in the Deux-Sèvres and the Vendée. 1st and 3rd Sunday at 11am in St Hilaire de Voust, Vendée and 2nd and 4th Sunday at 11am in two locations: one near Bressuire, DeuxSèvres and the other near Bournezeau, Vendée. Meetings last about an hour and are followed by a time of fellowship & refreshments. Find out more by contacting Chris & Julie Taylor 09 60 49 78 50 or visit: www.therendezvous.fr

Fête des Mères Pentecôte

Fête des Pères Fête de la Musique


Dates in orange represent celebration days, not public holidays.

The English Speaking Church of the Valley of the Loire (ESCOVAL) Meets at the R.C. Church in Arçay every 3rd Sunday of the month at 11.00am (just off the D759, Thouars to Loudun). We welcome and embrace all Christians from all denominations and warmly invite you to join us. Following the service, coffee is served, and for those who wish to stay a little longer, we enjoy a light, bring and share lunch. Please see our website for details www.escoval.org



1st: 4th: 8th: 10th:

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

Limalonges Chef Boutonne Theil Rabier Aigre

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

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

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

OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

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

Getting Out & About

Doodahs Do D-DAY

by Sally Warden

We have to be honest and admit that training thus far has been pretty non-existent. Life and work commitments in the way of our plans to get some serious mileage under our boots.

The Dumbarton Doodahs, © Sally Warden

Last year we formed the ‘Dumbarton Doodahs’ in order to compete in an epic driving adventure to Monte Carlo. This year, instead of putting our trust in Swedish engineering, we will be putting on our hiking boots and relying on Shanks’ pony. The Doodahs will attempt to walk the Normandy landing beaches, from Utah in the West to Sword in the East, a distance of around 104km, with just over 3 days to complete the challenge. We aim to finish at Pegasus Bridge on 6th June, the 73rd anniversary of the D-day landings.

D-Day landings, 6 June 1944 Lack of training aside, our trek is but a walk in the park compared to what the young men on the Normandy beaches endured. Their average age was 21 and they carried around 100lbs of kit. Our average age is 59 and so far our kit consists of a bottle of water, some sunscreen and a bag of Haribo sweets! Whilst our only concerns will be blisters and aching limbs, it is a sobering thought that the D-day troops stood a 50% chance of being killed or injured.

So, in recognition of the D-day soldiers and those who have fought for our native country before and since, we are fundraising for two charities – the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes. We will do our utmost to complete the distance. Our aim is to cover the course between us and each of us will walk as far as our aging bodies, dodgy knees, hips and ankles will allow, and then we’ll try to drag ourselves a little bit further.

You can find out how to donate on our blog at http://bradsallyianandsue.blogspot.fr or check out Dumbarton Doodahs on Facebook.

Have you LIKED us on Facebook?

We post regular updates, things to do and promote special offers on our page, so why not pop over and say “Hello”! www.facebook.com/thedeuxsevresmonthly 6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

Salon des Métiers d’Art 2017 This year, on the weekend of 10th and 11th of June, the Ruffec Rotary Club will present its 21st exhibition, the ‘Salon des Mètiers d’art’, at the the salle polyvalente in Mansle. Like last year, this is an opportunity for around 50 craftsmen to present their work and skills to the public. There will be stands displaying their decorative art work such as lamps, lampshades, jewellery, porcelain and ceramic painting, sculpture, silk painting, glass blowing, mosaics and much more…. Each event mounted by the Rotary Club supports a cause. This year is no exception and the money raised will go towards research into brain diseases. Opening hours: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm each day Entrance fee: 2€ Please come in your numbers to enjoy the skills of these craftsmen and in doing so you will help us to help others. Thank you for helping us to Servir d’abord.

‘The DSM’ Office Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm



Each year our club, Pause for Patchwork, have got together to make a quilt which in turn is raffled to raise money for a chosen charity. We chose a design and some members have donated squares that have been put together to make a quilt. In 2016 the design was called, ‘Disappearing 9 patch’. Members that wanted to participate were asked to make a square using this design, but they could used their own variation of colour. In addition, we asked for members to donate items of their choice to add as additional prizes. We had a lovely response and were able to raffle a total of 17 prizes. We sold raffle tickets to family and friends and also at the L’Absie Christmas fete, where we had a stall. The items were very well received and lots of tickets were sold. Our charity for 2016 was Rêves, the association that realises dreams for seriously sick children. We are pleased to say that we were able to send them a nice cheque to help in their work. We have already chosen a pattern for this years quilt, called ‘Flower Basket’. We will also have additional prizes, as last year. I will keep you informed of our progress later in the year.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 7


Treasure Hunt 10am, Sunday 11th June in Parthenay Explore a part of Parthenay that you’ve probably never seen before whilst solving clues and searching for treasure.

by Nathalie Rossignol

Reflets de Créateurs Open for a short period, Reflets de Créatuers in Coulonges-surl’Autize is a perfect place to visit and find a unique item or gift. Open Tuesday to Saturday until 30th May 2017, this shop offers items made by 13 local designers. Shabby chic decorations, jewellery, ladies and children’s accessories, bags, raku, quirky pictures, candles and more. Seven creators are present at the shop to assist you in your purchases.

The starting point is the park behind Parthenay’s Swimming Pool. It is also a nice spot to have a picnic if you want to bring one. €5 per adult, under 12’s free, which includes an apero or a soft drink at the end of the hunt. You can make up a team or do it individually. The person or team with the most points will get a prize. It is IMPERATIVE that you RESERVE a place because you will be allocated a starting time before the day. The hunt is being organised by Debbie Fisher and Anita Wilson of Vasles Netball Club. Contact Anita at markandanita@lametairie.net or 05 49 95 28 73 / Debbie at dfcrazywoman@ gmail.com or 05 49 94 67 63

Please share and bring your friends....the more the merrier. It’s Vide Grenier time again...

For more information about this shop, you can find them on Facebook: ‘Boutique éphémère Reflets de créateurs’ or of course, pop in, before 30th May!

17 rue de Fontenay, 790160 Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

You will find many brocantes, vide greniers and other sales around the area most weekends through the warmer months. A few are listed in this month’s ‘What’s On’ on page 3, or alternatively, please visit website: www.brocabrac.fr

Promote your event here.... Size A colour 50€ ttc includes: ad design, ‘What’s On’ listing + coverage on Facebook

American Show 13 & 14th May At La Commanderie, Ensigné Organised by American vehicle club USRIDERS 79, the show gathers American vehicles and vintage cars (Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Renault, Peugeot, Simca, Mercedes, Alfa Roméo Porsche, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lotus, Austin, Plymouth, trikes, Harley), plus westerners, pinup, rock concert, country music and more. Show closes with a concert by Eddy Mitchell on Sunday afternoon.

24th-27th May - Festival de la Deferlante For 23 years, 10 seaside resorts on the Atlantic coast have agreed to host an original and free cultural and artistic program in spring (La Déferlante de Printemps) and in summer (La Déferlante): Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, Pornic , Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Saint-Gilles Croix-de-Vie, Les Sables d’Olonne and Notre Dame de Monts 2016). In the past these events have covered artists in the fields of Street Arts, Circus Arts, Theatre, Dance, Song, World and Current Music. This cultural festival begins on the weekend of the Ascension (24/25th May): La Deferlante de Printemps is dedicated solely to Street Arts. Programme available at www.ladeferlante.com

by Fran Ashworth

The Local Currency is in Circulation!


ave you seen it? Used it? I’m really impressed, thought it would be Micky Mouse money but it has a watermark, metal strip, hologram and serial number. The main difference is it has an expiry date but you just swap out-of-date for new. If you can’t read your date it’s probably my fault as after the first few thousand my wrist was aching! Yes I’m one of those daft people who volunteered to sort and stamp the notes! The members of Gatin’émois, the association behind the idea, are predominantly French. This is not through any feeling against other nationalities but because they haven’t really known how to get others onboard. It struck me that many British people over here are running small businesses and might profit from being part of the local money system. What’s it for? Well it’s to encourage local small enterprises (I was really surprised to learn how many other little areas in Europe have started their own currency). I get very discouraged to find small shops opening and then disappearing again within a couple of years, and I expect it is the same with many small workshops and trades too. If you become part of this you agree to take the currency, called ‘Gatinelles’, instead of Euros in payment for your days work or your produce. Then you use the Gatinelles to buy things and services which you need from other small businesses who have joined. So you can see that at the start (and that is definitely where we are!) we need to get a lot of people involved, spread as widely as possible across the area. Otherwise there are going to be folk with the new notes but nowhere to spend them!! If you become the most popular business in the area and have too many to spend you can change them back to Euros at head office (small transaction fee) and the association is negotiating with the treasury people to enable businesses to pay their local taxes in Gatinelles (not finalised yet). It costs 50€ to join but several businesses have already noticed new customers who have come to them because they accept the currency. There are other benefits of membership like discounts on GatineBox and GatineMarché products and occasional social functions with free drinks and food. You’re not a business but you like the idea? Great! You can still join in by buying Gatinelles at a Bureau de Change, usually a shop which has agreed to perform this extra job (click the link to see where these are). They are sold in prepacked envelopes (guess who helped stuff envelopes?) and if you decide to buy a 100€’s worth you will find 105 Gatinelles in your envelope... nice little extra.... and if you have a Credit Agricole card, which shows you are a ‘societaire’, then you get 107€ because CA is backing the scheme. You have to buy a temporary membership card for 1€. This is meant to encourage tourists to buy them and spend them during their holidays (temporary members can’t change them back to Euros again) but it also appeals to me... who could argue with getting 105 or 107 worth for your hundred! You have probably realised that I rashly volunteer for things! Well my last mistake, when they were talking about how expensive it would be to translate the website into English, was (you guessed!) to offer to do it myself. I have since been shown the new site and it is huge.... and I do have other things to do, like run two gîtes. So is there anyone out there who wouldn’t mind giving up a bit of their time to help me? Either in the translation or just typing (I can translate reasonably quickly but my typing is very slow) Please? Anyway, if you want to help, join, or just have questions you can email me on franashworth79@gmail.com. I probably won’t know the answers to financial detail questions but I can find out and then maybe I could put together a FAQs sheet to add to the website. www.gatinemois.com/la-gatinelle-monnaie-locale/ The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 9

Fish ‘n’ Chips & Vide Grenier at La Ferrière-en-Parthenay 14th May, 10am - 4pm This is the biggest Vide Grenier in the area with over 300 stalls, plus extra stalls in the field of Jan Smith. Fish and Chips will be served from midday.... Please call 05 49 70 6218 for more info...


by Michel Bioteau

n 10th and 11th June the picturesque setting of le château de Bressuire will host Highland Games competitions for the ninth time . The event has been awarded the ‘Top Tourisme 2017’ award by the regional newspaper ‘La Nouvelle Republique du Centre Ouest’ and by the Tourist Information board of Deux-Sèvres. This year we are happy to welcome Robert Watt, a world bagpiper champion; he has been awarded seven times the Mc Crimmmon Trophy in Lorient! He will be one of the judges for a new event in Bressuire: a pipeband competition will be held. Dancers from Scotland (the Gordon School of Dancing from Montrose) and Ireland (‘Scoil Rince Mobhi’, Co Kildare) will also perform over the two days. Athletes will of course be part of the event with the ten best European champions who will compete for the title of best ‘European Highland Games Champion’. They will also compete for the title of best ‘European Caber Tosser’.

On Saturday two special events: late afternoon, strong men from the Basque region (south west of France, near the Spanish border) accompanied by a Basque banda (group of musicians); Then at night, ‘the Booze Brothers’ will be on stage for a Celtic rock gig. As usual, catering will be available on the spot (fish n' chips; haggis etc.) so please do come and join the fun!

Photography and Drawing/Painting Competition The City of Mauléon has organised two competitions (photography and drawing/painting) with the theme: Plants of our streets. The photos, drawings and paintings must represent plants found in public spaces and in urban areas. The photos will be retained by the town hall and will be the subject of a first exhibition, which will take place from 16 September to 7 October 2017. See full details on the website www.mauleon.fr. Deadline for submission of photos: 13 July 2017.

Are you a bit of a Bookworm?

If you are an avid reader and would like to share your book reviews with us, we would love to publish them!

© Sarah Berry 10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

Please send to us by email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Reviews should be 150-200 words long.

What’s new, President?


by Sue Burgess

y the time you read this article, the French people will be about to choose or will have chosen the 25th President of the French Republique la République Française, the 8th president of the 5th Republic la cinquième République.

Since 1962, the President le président de la République has been elected by a presidential election une élection présidentielle with direct universal suffrage suffrage universel direct. The President is the head of state le chef de l’Etat en France and the head of the armed forces le chef des armées. He guarantees the constituion le garant de la constitution and has a major role in foreign policy politique étrangère. Under the 5th Republic, in place since 1958, the powers of the President have been much wider than under previous republics. Between 1873 and 2002 the President was elected for a seven year term of office un mandat de sept ans/un septennat. Today’s presidents are elected for five years un mandat de cinq ans/un quinquennat. The constitution put into place by De Gaulle in 1958 la constitution du 14 octobre 1958 changed the role of the President. He became the most influential person of the nation le personnage le plus influent de la Nation. He is at the head of the executive power le chef du pouvoir exécutif. The President nominates the Prime Minister il nomme le Premier ministre. In principal, only the resignation of the Prime Minister dissolves the government but in practice, when the President asks the Prime Minister to resign, the latter never refuses. The President presides over the cabinet il préside le conseil de ministres in which he has an active role un rôle actif. He draws up the agenda and directs the discussions. Il fait établir l’ordre du jour et dirige les travaux. The President signs decrees after deliberation in the cabinet Il signe les ordonnances et les décrets. Article 13 l’Article Treize of the constitution gives him the right to sign decrees that have not been previously discussed under exceptional circumstances. The President represents the French State. Il symbolise l’Etat français. The President can dissolve parliament la dissolution de l’Assemblée Nationale but he must respect certain conditions. Parliament has been dissolved 5 times since 1958, the last time being 1997 when Chirac dissolved parliament hoping for a majority in the newly elected parliament. He didn’t get it. The President has the power to pardon le droit de grâce. He also has powers that are not mentioned in the constitution such as the exceptional authorisation of a marriage, for example a posthumous marriage un mariage posthume. Vocabulaire / Vocabulary: voter....................................... to vote Se rendre aux urnes............... to go to the poll un vote................................... a vote

Tax returns

voter utile............................. to engage in tactical voting

As in previous years, Val Assist will be available to help you complete your annual tax returns. The following dates are available by appointment only. • 2nd May and 11th May at L’Absie Pause! Café (21 rue de La Poste, 79240)   • 3rd May at Fontenay-le-Comte Bar Le Lotus (2 rue des halles, 85200)

Voter à bulletin secret........... to vote by secret ballot



Électeurs inscrits.................... registered voter voter pour............................. to vote for voter contre.......................... to vote against voter blanc...........................

to cast a blank vote

Élire...................................... to elect Droit de vote......................... Right to vote

5th May at Vouvant Café Cour du Miracle (Rue du Duc d’Aquitaine, 85120)

Please email Val on: contact@valassist.com to book your appointment.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 11

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

Franglais at Bressuire

Why not come and practise your French with a friendly and convivial group of French and English speakers? Each Wednesday evening (8-10pm) at the Centre Socio-Culturel in Bressuire. Phone Jan for further details 05 49 65 60 34. RAFA provides direct, practical support, comradeship and friendship to all serving and former RAF personnel and their loved ones. Contact RAFA Sud-Ouest France email: rafasof@orange.fr or Tel Website Short URL: http://goo.gl/ut80T Melleran Chanteurs – Amateur singing group meeting every Monday 6.45pm in Melleran Salle des Fetes. French & English members, singing in many languages. New voices always welcomed, particularly tenor and bass. For more information contact Maggie Geal 05 49 07 11 69

Alone in France?

We are a group of people living alone who meet on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 11am for coffee at the Pause! café in L’Absie. Our lunches are at different venues each month, a warm welcome awaits you. More details email saninb1@gmail.com or phone The Jean David Art Group meets every Tuesday, 11am - 3pm at Fenioux (79). Jean’s classes cater for all media and all levels of students beginners most welcome! For details, please visit www.jeandavidfineart.com or phone Jean on 06 52 93 33 60.

Bridge Players Wanted

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

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

Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

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

Please visit the branch website:



A vibrant group based in Vasles (79340) offering quality theatre productions. New members always welcome. Contact www.theatrivasles.com, find us on Facebook or email: theatrivasles@gmail.com


with a friendly group of French and English speakers. Each Wednesday at 7.30pm at the Salle des Fêtes, Veluché 79600. Call Christian for more details: 05 49 63 04 78 CLE (Charente Limousine Exchange) is a non-profit organisation for exchange of news, views and information. We work to protect member’s best interests, run social activities, events and clubs, helping members to make new ex-patriate and French friends. Barry Leech 05 49 87 19 85 contact@cle-france.com www.cle-france.com

The Phoenix Chorale An English speaking choir. We sing 3 or 4 concerts of seasonal and classical music, often including readings and poetry. Based near Charroux (86), we are always looking for new members. If interested, call 05 45 89 14 84 or 05 49 48 29 68. MERIDIEN GREEN ASSOCIATION We are a cross cultural association who aim for closer integration of the inhabitants of St Coutant 79120 and surrounding areas. Free weekly language classes on Monday evenings and Tuesday afternoons. For all our events visit www.meridiengreen.eu

AL-ANON Support Group

Do you wish the Drinking Would Stop? Are you troubled by someone’s drinking? If so we can help. There is now an English-speaking Al-Anon meeting every Wednesday @ 2.30pm in the meeting room behind Civray Mairie. Just turn up or ring Angela on 05 49 87 79 09.


Get Together is an association for English speakers of all nationalities. We have social gatherings, lunch & wine club, quizzes, walks, group meetings for all manner of hobbies and much more. Contact Membership Secretary Michele Hansford for joining details. Email: michelemhansford@gmail.com Tel. 05 49 64 21 63

Les Amis Solitaires

Acceuil des Villes Françaises A French association dedicated to welcoming newcomers, from across France & abroad, to their new environment; helping them to integrate, speak French and feel ‘at home’ through social www.avf.asso.fr events and activities. pjhenderson@orange.fr

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

We are a group of people living alone in France. We meet up for coffee mornings from 11am, every 2nd & 4th Thursday at The Lemon Tree in Sauzé Vaussais. More details from Gwen on 05 17 34 10 23 or email: LASdePoitou@gmail.com 12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017


by Eric Edwards


emembrance for the sacrifice made by those who have provided the freedom we enjoy today is one of the fundamental values of The Royal British Legion. At Branches throughout the world, our members have adopted the perpetuation of memories of events that occurred in their local areas. We here in the Poitou-Charentes are no exception and, in addition to supporting ceremonies mainly in Deux-Sevres and Vienne by parading our Standard, we support several historical incidents within our area on an annual basis. Being centred so close to The Demarcation Line of WWII, there are many memorials to choose from but our numbers dictate our loyalty to only a few. Our principal support is to the men of B Squadron 1st SAS, who took part in ‘Operation Bulbasket’, an incident that took place between June and August 1944 near to Verrières. Their objective was to hamper rail supplies going north after the Normandy landings. After several successful missions their location was betrayed and 33 SAS Soldiers were rounded up and executed along with a USAF pilot, who had joined them after bailing out of his P-51, and 7 captured ‘Maquisards’ (members of the French Resistance). Their bodies were put into a mass grave in the forest at St Sauvant but were later exhumed and reburied in Commonwealth War Graves in the graveyard at Rom, where they remain today. If you would like to join us in the remembrance of these men at the two ceremonies in Verrières and Rom that are held each year in June and September, you are most welcome. Dates vary depending upon the decisions of local Mayors but are published on our website. For the full story of this operation a good starting point is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bulbasket

by John Blair


ere we are, May already. The weather has been good, the flowers are blooming, the veggies are sprouting but the grass is growing and I have a lot of grass! Much better to be warm and have a few extra jobs to do though isn’t it? Let’s look forward to a warm and sunny summer. Enough of this though as I have a confession to make - the ticket email address on the April advert in ‘The DSM’ was incorrect and should have been tickets@ reactiontheatre.fr. Maureen’s telephone number was correct though and you can always pay at the door on the night. There is plenty of time to get your tickets but whatever you do don’t miss the show, ‘The Shakespeare Revue’. As previously mentioned, the show is a bit of a change for us; it’s not the usual stage set and conventional play but a number of sketches and songs loosely based on Shakespeare plays and characters. All written by many of your favourites such as Victoria Wood, Fry & Laurie, Maureen Lipman and Alan Bennett, with music by Cole Porter and others. You’ll recognise most of the music but the words have been changed by the talented people previously mentioned. Shakespeare has influenced our lives without us really knowing it, so where do you think some of these sayings come from? “It’s Greek to me”, if you “remember your salad days”, if your lost property has “vanished into thin air” if you have been “tongue tied” or “a tower of strength” or “hoodwinked” or “in a pickle” or “made a virtue of necessity”, “slept not one wink”, or “had too much of a good thing” you have quoted Shakespeare. I’m sure some of you can quote many more.

www.rblpoitou-charentes.fr Clubs & Associations Submission Guidelines

Wordcount: Title of entry+ 40 words (max. incl contact details). Logos can be supplied and will be added if space allows.

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

We have a large cast and a very talented crew, and are very lucky to have Margaret Round as our Director. Margaret has performed in many top amateur and professional shows and is an inspiration to us all. We feel confident that this will be a great show full of fun and laughter, and one you will all enjoy. We are performing at two venues, Secondingny and FoussaisPayre, and who knows, you may want to come to both venues! Please tell your friends about the show, your support makes all our hard work worthwhile. So come along and join in the fun, song and laughter, 8pm at Secondigny on the 12 & 13th May or at Foussais-Payre on the 19th & 20th May. Our friends at TheatriVasles are performing ‘Ladies Day’ by Amanda Whittington on the 5th and 6th at Vasles, why not make a double theatre weekend of it. See ‘The DSM’ for further details. Best wishes, John If you have any further questions you can visit our website


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 13

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

YOUR Book Reviews

Warm thanks go to Vronni Ward for this month’s review.

Getting them to your Writing Blog


ast month we talked about whether it was a good idea as a writer to have a blog. On balance, I think it is. You can publicise your work, jot down your musings, write book reviews and show your research, your inspirations and interests as well as show snippets of your work. Make sure your home page is welcoming with an attractive photo or image giving a clue about what’s in the blog. Static pages for each book with buying links and the cover image are essential as is an author photo and short bio. Start off with at least five posts already on your blog before you publicise it. Visitors want something to see when they visit your blog. But who is going to read your blog and how are you going to attract them? First, tell all your friends, family and colleagues, and post about it on Twitter and Facebook – with the link – or email people. Keep it factual and don’t use expressions like ‘my fabulous blog’ or ‘you’re bound to love it’ because you’re presupposing their opinion of it. Post on social media each time you post on your blog. Make sure you have cards or typed slips of paper with you at all times with the URL – the blog’s home address. You can give these out when people show interest, whether it’s in your writing group, over coffee, in the bar, at an event or even the checkout. Blog regularly; once a week is a good pace these days. Try to keep to the same day each week so visitors become used to seeing your latest post on a particular day. Posts of between 500 and 800 words are most popular. If you include an excerpt from your work, keep it to 350-400 words with an appropriate introduction. Always include at least one photograph as this makes posts more attractive to visitors. And complete the tags/labels, keywords and categories – they’re very important for signposting your blog to the rest of the Internet. Varying the content, including blogging about topical things when they relate to your book keeps it lively. And lastly, include something that readers could find of value – writing tips, your experience of an event, a piece of useful software or where to find research on a topic. If you come across other writers who blog – difficult to avoid these days – ask if they will accept a guest post or will interview you. You can see the sort of post from my writing blog (http:// alisonmortonauthor.com). Interviewing other people’s main characters is trending at present. Find other blogs in your area of interest, read them and contribute comments at the end of posts. People don’t comment as much as they used to so bloggers are delighted when visitors do. They will start to recognise you and be more open to accepting your guest post or interview. They may even review your book. The blogging community is generally very supportive. The rules are simple; be nice, be professional and reciprocate. It’s a gradual process, slow at first, but one which gathers momentum the longer and more assiduously you keep at it. Sometimes you feel you are blogging in a vacuum, but somebody out there will be reading it. Happy blogging! Alison blogs at http://alison-morton.com and http:// alisonmortonauthor.com on Wordpress and contributes regularly to Unusual Historicals http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.fr on Blogger 14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

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

Killing Floor by Lee Child This month I wanted to go American, and what better author to choose than Lee Child, who despite being born in England, lives, breathes and writes about his allAmerican hero, Jack Reacher. So far, Child has written 21 Reacher books; one is sold every 20 seconds! Not bad from a man who was made redundant by Granada TV through a ‘corporate restructure’, moved to the US, bought 6$ worth of pens and paper, and started writing this first prize-winning novel, Killing Floor, at the age of 40! He has houses in Manhattan, England and here in France. This book introduces us to Jack Reacher, a loner, 6 foot 6inches of muscle who wears a 3XL coat… before long you are in a relationship with this ex-army Major that’s hard to forget. I have to admit to being a big Lee Child fan. Women love him and men want to be him… tall, blond, on the side of justice and analytical… he deals with baddies like no other! He never washes his clothes he just buys new ones! In this book, Reacher drifts into a Midwest town and is immediately arrested for the murder of, none other than, his brother! It’s like an old school Western, the silent stranger in town. Boy, you may not be able to believe what’s happening in America at the present time… but you can definitely believe in Reacher… he gives us the ‘feel good’ factor on a plate. The books can be read in any order. I can’t wait to read the latest book ‘Night School’ where he’s called in to foil a terrorist plot. I had better read it quickly as the next Reacher book ‘No Middle Name’ is out in June. by Vronni Ward

International Writing Competitions: th

Deadline 15 June 2017

Four competitions to encourage writers to meet a deadline! Entering competitions provides the impetus to finish your work: to edit and present it to a high standard. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing it will be read by a professional writer. You join a growing community of authors - last year saw entries from 19 countries. Successful entrants receive cash prizes, publication and encouragement. Our unique Vignette competition for a short piece of stylish prose is a discipline which can appeal to all writers. Ben Lawrence, Segora short story winner of 2014, is the judge and has chosen the theme of ‘Space’. This may be interpreted in any way that appeals: personal, inner, outer, even ‘the deadly space between’. The result may be surreal, funny, sad, or poignant. Seth Freeman, winner of the 2016 one-act play section, creator of Lincoln Heights, has more than 30 plays to his credit and awards from theatres and festivals worldwide. Gordon Simms judges the plays and will present a ‘Practical Play-Writing Workshop’ at the Charroux Literary Festival, 24th – 26th August. Two former winners of our story competition are now full time authors. This year’s judge, Emma Curtis, has a new novel published this summer and Graham Minett, 2008 winner, is working on his third novel. Both say winning Segora gave them the confidence to give up the day job.


Anyone for Golf ?

by Peter Henderson

he Deux-Sèvres having a fairly low population density; is spoilt for Golf courses, with four in our département, from Niort, Mazières-en-Gatine and Les Forges, up to the recently opened club at Bressuire. When I first came to the Deux-Sèvres five years ago, I liked the friendly and welcoming nature of the people here and I found that Les Forges, near Vasles, was an interesting and varied 27 hole course. After joining, it became evident that there were in fact over 100 other Brits playing there too. Just as in the UK, I was pleased to discover that it had several golfing groups running to suit all ability levels. I quickly found my feet and joined up with one, my particular group being known as ‘The Wine Club’. I’ll leave the “rewards” to your imagination. The strange thing about France is that, not being historically a “golfing nation”, the sport is still in its relative infancy and, unlike the UK which has a handicap limit of 27 for men, in France this goes up to a staggering 54! (For those who don’t understand, that, it is the same as having a 3 shots start per hole). This allows even the rank beginner to compete at his/her own level almost immediately. Whether you are a serious or not so serious golfer, there are weekly men’s and ladies’ competitions, for all levels, available throughout the fair weather season. For those of you who want to keep active or wish that you were more active than you are, especially if you used to practice another sport in your earlier years, golf is definitely a sport to have a go at and you will be amazed at how quickly your handicap will tumble and what a great way it is to pass the time of day with friends. The scenery on golf courses is always very impressive and there is much to appreciate being in la nature. Your doctor too will no doubt be pleased to see that you are getting the exercise that will keep your body and mind healthy.

Our poetry judge is widely published Scottish poet A C Clark, who has a strong interest in historical figures and outsiders. However, entries may be on any subject and in any style.

If you would like further information on this, the club at Les Forges has many special deals for new members or for those who just want to have a taster session or une initiation. In addition, ‘open days’ are periodically organised by the club.

Read last year’s winning entries and details of how to enter on www.poetryproseandplays.com

Golf les Forges can be contacted on 05 49 69 91 77.

Each entry fee supports Médecins Sans Frontières. Follow us on FB www.facebook.com/SegoraPPP/

The other golf clubs in the Department can be contacted as below:


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

Golf du Bocage, Bressuire: 05 49 80 69 18 Golf de Mazières-en-Gâtine: 05 49 63 20 95 Golf Club de Niort: 05 49 04 64 48

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 15


by James Luxford

Race relations, terror and geriatric heists made up the unusual mix of highlights this month. Here’s our pick of the bunch...

GOING IN STYLE (7th April) Scrubs star Zach Braff goes behind the camera in this comedy remake, taking a light hearted swipe at the banking system. Three straight-laced retirees (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin) are left destitute when a bank squanders their pension funds just before retirement. Their solution? Rob the bank and get their money back! It’s a pleasure to see three legendary actors bounce off of one another, and while the film feels very familiar to other movies about unusual heists, it’s a fun hour and a half. Definitely one for those who like ‘young at heart’ comedies such as Last Vegas. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (10th May) An incredible look into US race relations of the past and present. This documentary revolves around revolutionary civil rights author James Baldwin and his unfinished 1979 book, Remember His House, which examined the lives of pivotal civil rights leaders. Using his words we see the direct timeline connecting events such as the Civil Rights movement to today’s Black Lives Matter protests. A startling piece of work, a subject you think you know evolves into a jaw-dropping analysis of the deficiencies that still exist in our society. An important film, and lesson, for our time. Diary Of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (19th May) The long running ‘Wimpy Kid’ series reaches its fourth instalment, following the misadventures of young Greg (Jason Drucker) which threaten to derail a long family road trip. The films have been going steady for a decade now, and even at its height it’s an acquired taste. Young viewers will get plenty of chuckles out of the slapstick comedy, and while older cinemagoers may not be blown away this is a solid addition to the family friendly franchise.

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

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

GET OUT (3rd May) Jordan Peele directs this terrifying and razor sharp horror-satire. British actor Daniel Kaluuya plays a man in a mixed race relationship who discovers his new girlfriend’s parents have a horrific secret agenda. An unnerving and intelligent story, this surprising film takes aim at the latent racism that exists within post-election America. Bound to be one of the most memorable movies of the year, Get Out is proof you can balance scary and sophisticated.

Take a Break - SOLUTIONS

Easy Crossword: Across: 1.scald 3. gulag 7. treen 8. avert 9. daddy longlegs 10. periphery 13. passenger ship 14. aphid 15. piano 16. niece 17. tiger Down: 1. spread 2. aberdeenshire 4. level crossing 5. garage 11. dampen 12. dinner Toughie Crossword: Across: 1. mew 3. king 5. lear 9. cello 10. tempest 11. sixty minutes 14. hamlet 15. comedy 18. census report 21. art deco 22. aphid 23. oche 24. isle 25. tat Down: 1.much 2. william 3. know the rules 4. no time 6. event 7. rut 8. omens of peace 12. styx 13. chic 16. earshot 19. notch 20. edit 21. ado Well, what do you know?: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

London Taxi Driver (CABBIE) DICK Francis HENRY second COLUMBUS They are all ex TEACHERs SCREAMING Lord Sutch

7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12)

JACK Bruce DOCTOR WHO CLEO Laine Sir Malcolm SARGENT Midnight COWBOY District NURSE

They are all Carry On Film Titles

Release dates are nationwide in France.

FILMS IN ENGLISH... There are cinemas in our department which show films in their original language. Marked as ‘VO’ (Version Originale) or ‘VOST’ (Version Originale avec Sous-Titrage), these films can be seen at a number of locations. Use the websites opposite to check your local cinema for screenings.

16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

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

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


by Sue Burgess

roux is a small village with just over 100 inhabitants who are known as the Oroussiens, and the Oroussiennes or the Oréliens and the Oréliennes.

The village is surrounded by the communes of la Ferrière-enParthenay, Lhoumois and la Peyratte and is situated 3 km South West of Lhoumois. The commune is part of the ‘Pays Thénézéen’. The name Oroux comes from the Latin oratorium (oratorio) and the village has previously been known as Ororio (1090) and Houroux (1400). A VOIR / MUST SEE • The château Oroux castle is privately owned and is open to the public on heritage weekend, the third weekend of September. It was built close to a Roman road and the path to Compostella on the site of a Gallic-Roman villa. The castle of Oroux was dependant on the castellany of la Ferrière-en-Parthenay, on the Senechal of Poitiers and the Archpriest of Parthenay. Built in a U shape, today’s buildings date from the 13th century and are flanked by a square tower with three arrowslits on the ground floor. There is a small room on the first floor of the tower with a built-in window seat and a pigeon loft on the top floor. The two storey wing has three 14th century granite chimneys, 13th century cigar-shaped granite doors and mullion windows. Several of the windows are decorated with stone window seats and wrought iron grills. The third side of the U was fixed on a round tower which has today been levelled off. (Today this side forms the Chapel of the château – Saint Neomaye Chapel.). A second square tower with large arrowslits and a door overlooking the ancient ramparts, is today a bell tower. A door opens onto what was a high defensive wall closes the U shape and joins the tower to the rest of the building. Only the foundations of the defensive wall remain today. They support the patio which is in the inside courtyard.

century during the Wars of Religion, and then again at the end of the 18th century during the Vendee wars in 1793. A chapel, dedicated to Saint Marie of Oroux, situated in the grounds of the château, was built in 2014 bringing together elements from the 15th and 17th centuries. The chapel was consecrated in August 2015 by the Archbishop of Poitiers. There is a bronze monument dedicated to Joan of Arc, dating from 1861, that was blessed in 2016. The château is privately owned by the Ambrogi family who live there. They have carried out a lot of restauration work.. • The church of Saint Martin The 11th century church is closely linked to the Lords of Maurivet and Oroux. It is dedicated to St Martin who came from Hungary in the 4th century. He met Hilaire the bishop of Poitiers and founded the abbey at Ligugé. The church with its Romanesque door appears quite modest next to the chateau. It is set back from the road and it is easy to drive past it without seeing it. The inside is surprising because of the low ceiling and the lack of windows. The nave is surmounted by a false vaulted ceiling and there is a small side chapel with a window. This side chapel is in fact the access point to the bell tower. The paving of the floor includes several funeral stones. As there are no stained glass windows, there are pictures and paintings to illustrate the life if St Martin. There are also several statues and traces of very old wall paintings at the North end of the nave. The particularity of the church is an imposing square construction at the north end of the sanctuary. The walls are thick and there is little natural light which enters through the arrowslits in the upper part of the walls. Before becoming a bell tower, this building was obviously a prison and or safe refuge or hiding place. Photo below: Château d’Oroux. Courtesy www.lescommunes.com

The second tower of the main building houses a large winding staircase in granite dating from the 14th century. This leads to a second body of buildings with four levels including one which is a double-vaulted cellar from Roman times. The whole building was badly damaged at the end of the 16th

More A-Z of the Communes of Deux-Sèvres next month... The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 17

Health, Beauty & Fitness

Team Building....


by Jacqui Brown

may have been contributing to The Deux-Sèvres Monthly for over five years, but until September of last year, when we first started thinking about this tour, Sarah and I had never met in person. Living about an hour and half from each other and with four busy schedules between us, so far planning meet ups and training rides for The Tour Four together have proved to be more tricky than plotting the route for the Tour de Rêves. This September, with the prospect of spending six days in each other’s company, days and evenings too, when energy levels will be down and grumpiness is likely to be high (for me especially), getting to know each other beforehand is very important. Last month the stars aligned and the four of us were able to meet, to cycle together and more importantly had the time to chat and learn a bit more about each other. Adrian and I happened to find ourselves staying the night not too far from Sarah and Rob, reviewing a gîte. Following an afternoon ride of 32km, checking out a section of the Tour route, we returned to the gîte for a soak in the bath and then we took them up on their kind offer of dinner. A leisurely evening of good food, wine and conversation put our minds at rest as we realised we have more in common than just living in and cycling around the Deux-Sèvres. Rob and Adrian are rather partial to their beers, Sarah and I have similar tastes in white wine and even when the conversation strayed to the more risky topic of religion, our views were perfectly matched. We have also discovered Adrian and Sarah are both Taurians and Rob and I are both Virgos, with Rob and Adrian both being left handed. Make of these coincidences what you will, but I just hope it means a harmonious future ahead of us.


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

Pure Fitness Exercise to music classes - every Tuesday 7pm-8pm Salle des Fêtes, La Chapelle St Etienne 79240. For more info contact jane-trescothick@orange.fr 18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

It’s just a shame our cycling abilities are unlikely to ever match so well. When our route took us away from the tranquil and flat bliss that was the old railway line between Moncoutant and Bressuire, the differences in our fitness levels were obvious. While Mr Super-fit Rob and mountain-legged Adrian trailed off into the distance, Sarah and I did our best, but there was no disguising our huffing and puffing up the hills. At least the men were good enough to wait for us at the top. I have to admit, living in the flat lands of the south of the department meant that the hills were a bit of a shock to me and I know I’ll have to train hard this summer. Don’t forget if you are interested in joining us, you can find instructions on The DSM website and our terms and conditions will be sent out to all those interested in taking part. www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

You can also keep up to date on our planning and training via our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TourdeReves/

Home & Garden Small colour Advert from 35,17€ ttc per month

Plant Swap 14 MAY, 9.30am - 12.30pm CHANTECORPS (79340) th

Arrive at a time to suit you, with what you have....seeds, vegetables, cuttings of shrubs, trees, cacti, or indoor plants etc. and exchange with others! No reservation necessary....a table is at your disposal. According to the weather, this will take place in the church grounds or at the Salle des Fêtes.

Rendez-vous aux jardins Rendez-vous aux jardins is a national event, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Communication in close cooperation with the CPJF. This event takes place every year on the first weekend of June. In all regions of France, parks and gardens, private and public, open their doors for 3 days. The public can meet owners and gardeners, and attend proposed activities: workshops, exhibitions, concerts etc. This year the 15th edition of Rendez-vous aux Jardins will take place from 2 to 4 June 2017 with a ‘sharing the garden’ theme. Visit: www.rendezvousauxjardins.culturecommunication.gouv.fr/ for more information. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 19

We need you!


by Janet Greenwood

ou may have heard of Open Gardens/ Jardin Ouvert. Did you know however that the scheme has now arrived in the Deux Sevres? We have two regional coordinators: Janet Greenwood in Le Busseau and Ticia Goode in Marnes. As coordinators, Janet and Ticia’s role is to encourage and support people to open their gardens to visitors. Both of them are keen gardeners and chose to get involved so that they could share their passion with like-minded people whilst at the same time supporting French Charities.

We are looking for new gardens to join the scheme in the DeuxSèvres. We want all sorts of gardens and all sorts of gardeners to get involved: small gardens, courtyard gardens, large gardens, potagers. Normally we ask that your garden has 30 minutes of interest to a visitor whether you have flowers, plants, architecture, garden art, or a veggie garden. If your garden is very small maybe you could join up with a neighbour or others in your village to combine the opening of your garden into an Open Garden “day”. In Le Busseau we are opening ten gardens on 11 June 2017. There is a wide variety of gardens on offer. The garden tour will start at Janet Greenwood’s house with ticket purchases made here and then visitors will be given a map of the other 9 gardens to visit. Details are on the website www.opengardens.eu In Marnes, North east of Deux-Sèvres, Ticia will be opening her gorgeous garden on Saturday 15 July 2017. Please look at www. opengarden.eu for details...... Ticia wants to recruit other gardeners too in the areas of Marnes, Moncontour, Airvault and Saint Loup. If you are interested please get in touch via Ticia’s email address ticiagoode@gmail. com.

20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 21

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 21


Last month I promised that I would give you a list of plants which are useful for controlling pests, so here we are : Name of plant Pests it repels:

T •

• •

• • •

he days are getting longer and warmer so we need to knuckle down to that list of gardening jobs - which will also get longer if we’re not careful.

As spring bulbs finish flowering give them a foliar feed every two weeks until the leaves turn yellow and die back. This goodness will be absorbed into the bulbs ready for next year’s flowers. Divide hardy perennials before the weather gets too hot and the soil too dry. Cut back Forsythia and other flowering shrubs after flowering. This will keep a good shape and give any nearby perennials enough room and light to encourage new growth. At the same time it will give you easier access to stake taller plants and nearby climbers, after which you can fill empty spaces with summer bedding before mulching everything to retain moisture and deter weeds. Tie in climbing and rambling roses as near to horizontal as possible - this restricts the sap flow which will cause more side-shoots to form along the length of the stem and therefore more flowers will be produced. Take softwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs such as Fuchsias, Forsythia, Philadelphus etc. Mow lawns regularly and keep the edges clipped neatly. Cut hedges but check for nesting birds first – delay this job if necessary.

Borage tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. Catnip flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, ants, weevils. Chives Japanese beetles, aphids and carrot fly. Bay leaves flies. Dill aphids, spider mites. Garlic Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails and carrot fly. Planted near roses it will repel aphids. Basil house flies and mosquitoes. Lemon Thyme mosquitoes. Mint mosquitoes. Rosemary mosquitoes. Lemon Balm mosquitoes. Verbena mosquitoes. Lavender moths, fleas, flies and mosquitoes. Marigolds whiteflies, nematodes, aphids, mosquitoes and even rabbits! Fennel aphids, slugs, snails. Parsley Asparagus beetle. Allium family slugs, aphids, carrot flies and cabbage worms, so grow them near tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and carrots. Alliums also keep aphids off rose bushes. (Alliums include chives, leeks and shallots as well as the marvellous Allium giganteum with the huge flowerheads). Dahlias nematodes. Nasturtiums whiteflies, aphids, beetles - so grow near tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, broccoli, cabbage, radish because many of these insects love veggies. Petunias repel aphids and other vegetable and herb pests - so grow near beans, tomatoes and peppers.

And in the vegetable garden: • • • • •

Earth up potatoes as necessary. Plant young tomato plants, remembering to put support stakes in place too. Sow your chosen vegetables and salad items according to varieties. Hoe as often as possible to keep weeds at bay. Water your plants in the early morning or during the evening to get most benefit out of the water – at hotter times of the day it will evaporate away before it gets down to the plant roots. Utilise kitchen waste water where possible. Take cuttings of herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme.

So now, before I finish for this month I’ll do my usual and remind you about the Processionary Caterpillars – their nests in pine trees look like clumps of cotton wool but when the weather warms up these caterpillars come down from their nests in a long line, nose to tail, ready to pupate just below the soil surface. All very interesting but please beware because their hairs cause extreme irritation and can also be quite dangerous to dogs and cats. Lastly, according to ‘Gardening by the Moon’ which I’ve mentioned before, there are days in May when you should not do any gardening!!!! Can you believe it? 4th – none before 5.50 pm 12th – none after 4.45 pm 19th – none before 8.35 am 26th – none before 8.25 am  31st – none between 8.50 am and 7.05 pm I’m only telling you so you can sit down without feeling guilty ;)

Byeeee ......

22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

Le Jardin du Bâtiment by Christina Sarah

The charming department of the Vendée in the Pays-de-la-Loire region of western France is situated on the Atlantic coast. One of the secrets of the South Vendée is the world renowned garden, Le Jardin de Bâtiment, in the sweet little village of Thiré. You wouldn’t know from the village itself that such beauty lies within.


ne summer afternoon back in 2016 my hubby and I headed to this hidden treasure which is open to the public a few times each year. It’s called Le Jardin de Bâtiment and it is very beautiful, even more so draped in the warm French sunshine. I recently learnt that the owner, American conductor and baroque music specialist, William Christie, purchased the 17th century property when the house and gardens were but a ruin and a bare field. William Christie has since transformed the house over the last twenty years and surrounded it with world-renowned gardens that are not to be missed. Around every corner there are big surprises, from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. The love and skill that has gone into creating this fantastic garden is mesmerising.

Even the beautiful swan wanted her portrait taken - such a brilliant poser isn’t she? Exploring the garden and its many ‘rooms’ was fascinating from the central courtyard to the dovecote, to the cloister and not forgetting the most important part of every French garden, the kitchen garden. I had so much fun photographing each lovely detail. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend a visit; and if you do, don’t forget your camera. Sadly your furry friends will have to stay at home as dogs are not permitted in the garden. We also disovered that the garden hosts a hugely popular event each year called ‘Festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie’. The next festival takes place on 20th - 26th August 2017 and detailed information is available on the website of Conseil General de Vendee, www.vendee.fr.

Dates for Your Diaries: Spring Festival : 28th to 30th April 2017 Opening of the garden from 10 am to 7 pm Entrance fee 4 € Every year, 1st - 10th of July inclusive and all of the month of September plus during ‘Rendez-vous aux jardins’ 2017: 2nd - 4th June Opening times : 1pm to 7pm. Prices : Entrance is 4€ per person and free for children under 12 years (accompanied by an adult) Smoking is prohibited in the garden and dogs are not allowed.

For further information please visit: www.jardindewilliamchristie.fr

Photos © Christina Sarah Photography. www.christinasarah.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 23

Our Furry Friends

10 7th am M - 4 ay pm


Le Grand Beaupuits 79200 St Germain de Longue Chaume Thank you to all who supported us last time, we raised enough to sterilise five little ones but we still have more to do.... We are having another sale for abandoned cats, their sterilisation & general care. Loads of new donations including lots of white goods & furniture will be on sale and there will be coffee & cake - and hopefully some sunshine. Please contact me at heather.rosemary33@gmail.com for further information or if you are clearing out your loft & have some items you would like to donate.


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

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


24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

Thank You, Heather

Take a Break Across: 1. Burn with steam or hot water (5) 3. Russian prison camp for political prisoners (5) 7. Made of wood; wooden (5) 8. Turn away or aside; prevent from happening (5) 9. Crane fly (5-8) 13. A large boat built to carry people (9-4) 14. Any plant sucking insect (5) 15. Keyboard musical instrument (5) 16. The daughter of your brother or sister (5) 17. Large Asian feline (5)

DSM Toughie Crossword

Down: 1. Distribute or disperse widely (6) 2. County in Scotland (13) 4. Intersection of a railway and a road (5-9) 5. Outbuilding for housing a vehicle (6) 6. Someone acting as an informer or decoy for the police (5,6) 11. Make moist (6) 12. The main meal of the day (6)

Across: 1. Going some way towards capturing the sound of a cat (3) 3. A thousand and one not good enough to be top of the pile? (4) 5. A real kind of jet? (4) 9. Telephone response has a cold intro for hot musical instrument (5) 10. Brussels politician out of order and embroiled in trial storm (7) 11. Sexy mint suit is fashionable, but only for a certain time (5,7) 14. Amateur actor rented out after tragic performance..... (6) 15. ....quite the opposite of this company, including me ahead of the limitations of disability (6) 18. Amalgamated press taken in by bungled re-count of poll statistics (6,6) 21. Actor and journalist go a purler over style (3-4) 22. Trap hidden to ensnare greenfly (5) 23. When it’s your opportunity on the board, make sure you get behind this! (4) 24. It’s rumoured I’m going to get a small piece of land? (4) 25. Time and time again leaders achieve a shabby result (3)

Down: 1. Quite a lot gleaned from a chapter on the founders of militant unionism (4) 2. A book just before this is testament to my existance? (7) 3. Sulk the owner gets into a good reason to read the handbook (4,3,5) 4. Like the present to follow, takes nothing from disturbed emotion (2,4) 6. Gorbachev entering the ring for the grand occasion (5) 7. Turn around not unknown in mating season (3) 8. Cope with mean foes in struggle to get the beginnings of a settlement (5,2,5) 12. Proclaims publicly not twisting for ‘The Last River to Cross’ (4) 13. In small measure a casual greeting can be trendy (4) 16. Keep out of it and you will not hear order to share (7) 17. Mistakes end of phrase for a catalogue (6) 19. Keep a record of those leading in the neighbourhood of the club house (5) 20. Tide is turning; get ready to broadcast (4) 21. Seen before about nothing, having come after much fuss (3)

Well, what do you know? 1) What was the profession of the 1980 Mastermind winner Fred Housego?  2) Who rode the Queen Mother’s horse Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National? 3) Which English monarch was the first Plantagenet King (1154 - 1189)? 4) What is the capital of the U.S. state Ohio? 5) What do Sting, Brian May and J.K. Rowling have in common? 6) Who was the founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party? 7) Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and which guitarist formed Cream?

With thanks to M.Morris

Monthly quiz by Roland Scott...... how many can you get? 8) What is the longest running T.V. science fiction show? 9) Which singer is the widow of Sir John Dankworth? 10) Who was the co-founder of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1st conductor of the Liverpool Phil. and replaced Sir Henry Wood as conductor of the Proms Concerts 1948 to 1967? 11) Which 1969 film used Harry Nilsson’s ‘Everybody’s Talking’ as its theme? 12) What was the title of the BBC TV series which ran from 1984 -1987, was set in Wales in the 1920’s and 30’s and starred Nerys Hughes? And finally, what connects your 12 answers assuming they are all correct?

Copyright RJS 2017

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 25

Answers on P.16 and our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

DSM Easy Crossword

Where We Live...

Livarot (AOC) If you like your cheese with a bit of a pong, this might be just for you. One of the oldest and considered – alongside Pont l’Eveque and Camembert – as one of the greatest Normandy cheeses, Livarot is an uncooked, unpressed soft cheese easily distinguished by its washed rind and rather pungent aroma described by some as ‘barnyard.’ Originating in the commune of Livarot, in the Calvados department, and protected by an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée since 1975, it is often called The Colonel because of the five stripes of rush or raffia that encircle the cheese that historically prevented it collapsing during maturation. Those stripes are reminiscent of the stripes on a French army colonel’s uniform. Today the bands are more for show than a production necessity and industrial dairies often replace the rush leaves with bands of green paper. Apart from those stripes, Livarot is also easily identifiable by its orange wrapping and thin, round, wooden box. Made from both pasteurised and unpasteurised cows milk with a minimum 40% fat content, each wheel, or round, is washed in brine, coloured in annatto (a food colouring made from the seeds of the achiote tree) and matured for up to two months in warm, humid cellars to develop the taste. Both the smell and taste have lessened over the years, but its still powerful taste is nutty, melting in the mouth to release flavours of citrus and spiciness. Historically referred to as ‘the poor man’s meat’, the cheese is noted for its soft, golden paste with little holes and a springy texture. That texture is creamy, smooth and quite runny at room temperature. It should be very ripe when chosen. As a good test, your finger should sink into the inside. A smell of ammonia, however, can indicate the cheese is past its best – and you’ll know it! The normal weight for a Livarot is 450g, but under AOC regulations three small formats are allowed: troisquarts Livarot (three-quarter size), Petit-Livarot (small size) and Quart-Livarot (quarter size). This cheese is traditionally best enjoyed at the meat end of the menu along with a strong beer, local Normandy cider, a glass of Calvados (apple brandy) or a full-bodied red wine. 26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

Chez Zoe and Kenny, © Zoe Caryl 2017

Music, maestros, please I

f you’re a keen amateur musician, you might have a spare bedroom turned into a ‘studio’ and filled with crumpled heaps of sheet music, an old guitar or piano, maybe even a saxophone or violin. A small amplifier in the corner? Why not. But Zoe and Kenny’s place is on a completely different scale. This is Boutonne Rouge Studios. This is no home sound system, not even a big home sound system. Think more Abbey Road than Albert Road. This is home to a couple whose lives revolve around Music with a capital M. Londoner Zoe and her partner Kenny, from Motherwell, moved to France in 2014 along with their cat, Annabelle. “My brother has lived in France for 20 years and he arranged for us to play at Fouras American Festival in 2012,” says Zoe, “and we enjoyed the whole experience so much we began to think about moving here. A few more trips and a few more gigs later we thought we could get enough work here so we started house-hunting. Kenny had previously spent two seasons working at the Sporting and Cabaret Clubs in Monaco and loved the whole lifestyle. “We never looked outside the Deux-Sèvres as we wanted to be near Poitiers airport so we could easily return to the UK for work. We can also use Limoges and La Rochelle, so the area is perfect. When we saw the house we just knew it was right for us and we feel so lucky to live in such a lovely area. We’ve had such a warm welcome from both French and English neighbours in our village and the surrounding area.”

Visit the home of Zoe Caryl and Kenny Plenderlieth, near the small market town of Chef-Boutonne in the Deux-Sèvres, and it seems much like many other homes in the area. Stone buildings with red slate roofs, wooden shutters on doors and windows, geraniums on the windowsills. Open the front door, however, and you’ll find yourself in a completely different world. Inside the studio, © Zoe Caryl 2017

on board the QE2. He has worked with big-name artistes including George Benson, Donna Summer, The Temptations, Fats Domino, Manhattan Transfer, Cliff Richard, Vera Lynn and The Hollies. The couple met in London playing in a pub called the Old Blue Last, in Shoreditch (a popular venue for singers and musicians) and went on to work together in the capital for many top function bands, playing regularly at venues including Claridges, The Dorchester, The Hilton and The Ritz before moving to France. It was while working with Johnny Howard’s band Rollacoaster that they discovered a mutual love of country music. “I was introduced to country music by my mum when I was 12,” says Zoe. “She gave me a Tammy Wynette album and I was hooked. Dolly Parton was also an early influence. Country music is very popular in Scotland and Kenny’s parents played it regularly, so he always heard it while growing up.”


McKenZie by Mick Austin

Kenny (lead guitar player and vocalist) and Zoe (singer and acoustic guitar player) perform as the duo McKenZie and, with their rich and varied musical experience to draw on, they aim to offer top-quality, popular music for party and music events throughout France and the UK. They play popular music from all eras and country music for line-dancing events. Their vast repertoire of music and their sets include popular music from 1950s rock and roll and standards to the latest pop songs by artistes such as Adele and Bruno Mars. They can use their own tailor-made backing tracks for an event or play acoustic sets as preferred. They have performed at many venues in and around the Deux-Sèvres, Charente and Dordogne regions and at many weddings and private parties. Zoe comes from a musical theatre background, playing Annie in London’s West End as a child and appearing in Starlight Express, among other shows. Her father was bandleader on the QE2 cruise liner and her mother was a regular singer with the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra. Her brother, Ronnie, lives in France and is a successful blues artiste in his own right but continues to tour with Phil Collins as rhythm guitar player and backing vocalist. Kenny has played guitar professionally from the age of eight, leading bands in venues such as the Sporting Club in Monaco and

Kenny asked Zoe to write with him and that led to them releasing their first original album of country music, Walking on Steel, in 2007. It got rave reviews from country music magazines and DJs in the UK and throughout Europe and the newly-formed duo McKenZie took to the festival circuit, their first outing being to open the Great Scottish Country Music Festival in Ayr in 2007. In 2009, Scottish songwriter Alex Birnie invited the pair to write an album with him and the result was McKenZie’s second CD, 2 For the Road. In the same year, they also released the single Ice Road Truckers with legendary country and western singer George Hamilton IV on guest lead vocals. “We were so thrilled our first album was so well received by the UK country scene, and things just got better when our second, 2 For the Road, was nominated for Best UK Country Album by the British Country Music Association.” A year later they branched out into music video with their tribute to Les Paul and Mary Ford, with a song called Les & Mary which was shown on the Hot Country Show on Rural TV. For their following single, I Can’t Sleep, McKenZie decided to make the video themselves – a process which they were to continue – and it spent four weeks at No1 on the Hotdisc independent chart and was shown on TV’s Hot Country and Phil Mack shows. They released their third album, And Then We Wrote, in 2012, again featuring songwriting collaborations with Alex Birnie and guest vocals from rising UK country stars Kay D and Tim McKay. In 2013, they continued to tour, supporting artists including Americans Tracy Bird, Heather Myles, The Tennessee Three and the world-famous Billy Joe Spears. They also made their first foray into Europe with an appearance at the Fouras American Beach Festival, near La Rochelle. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 27

...A look at what makes France so special Having always worked in the music and entertainment industry it was a natural progression to build their own studio, Boutonne Rouge, where they welcome singers, musicians and songwriters wanting to record albums, demos, write music and make videos to visit and record their projects with them. “This is the third studio I’ve built,” says Kenny.“The first was in Newcastle and the second in London. My ambition for a studio is never fulfilled as there’s always new technology to be considered and possibly included. A studio is a means to an end for making music. It’s a place where I feel comfortable working and creating music for ourselves and others.” The Boutonne Rouge Studio opened in November 2015 and its clients so far have included The Candy Stripes (three ladies and a mix of party music), The Fake Racoons (three-piece band singing rock classics), Mike and Sue of Shanghai. Lil (recording an eclectic mix of tunes) and Andy Berry (a blues player living in nearby Confolens who came to record a special selfpenned song to raise money for Help for Heroes). Zoe’s brother, Ronnie Caryl, also dropped in to record a new CD with his band, Patrick Bujard, Luc Diabra and Marco Darnere. Andy Berry was impressed with his visit: “I spent a long but enjoyable and fascinating day in the company of Kenny and Zoe recording a song. Great production by Kenny and vocal input by Zoe and loads of other advice and suggestions. Can’t recommend them enough. To top it all, a bowl of Kenny’s home-made soup and Zoe’s home-made cake!” The studio includes a mixture of both analogue and digital equipment, at the heart of which is a Megas Soundtracs Studio 32–24-16 Analogue Console (fully modular). They have a range of sound modules and instruments including keyboards, guitars and drum kit to help people realise their recording project and use Logic Pro on Apple-based computers for music production. They also have mobile recording facilities – ideal for schools, choirs, live gigs and special location recording – where they can record up to 16 tracks (eight tracks at a time) of high quality digital audio and then take it back to Boutonne Rouge Studio and mix it. And for any budding songwriters out there, Kenny and Zoe will be happy to demo your song, using their vast combined musical experience to help bring your work to life.

© Zoe Caryl 2017

They moved permanently to France in 2014, travelling back to the UK to perform, but it wasn’t long before invites to play in France came rolling in. They’ve played at country festivals and events including the Okies country dance group music festivals at SauzéVaussais and Limalonges and events for popular dance instructor Chrystel Durand. Chrystel has even choreographed a dance to their song Goldrush from their first album, Walking on Steel. Their packed calendar now includes country and western appearances throughout the year in both France and the UK – from Kent to Glasgow and just about everywhere in between. Oh, and three days in Santa Susanna in the Spanish sunshine! Their rock, pop and party music gigs and concerts include events throughout the Deux-Sèvres (including some right on their doorstep in Chef Boutonne), Charente and Charente-Maritime. “We enjoy all the different types of gig we play here in France,” says Zoe. “At this month’s Okies Festival at Sauze Vaussais on May 20-21 there will probably be around 500 to 600 line-dancers and it’s great fun to play to that big a crowd and to see them all dancing. But, equally, in the smaller bars that may only hold 80 to 100 people it’s great to sing a quiet ballad, perhaps one of our own songs, and have absolute quiet and respect. The audiences here are fantastic, both French and English, dancers and non-dancers.” 28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

They also run guitar and singing workshops, and tuition. The guitar workshops, run by Kenny, are for beginners to intermediates and feature many styles from blues to jazz, rock and funk. Zoe’s singing workshops, for individuals and groups, include pop, rock, jazz, country, easy-listening and musical theatre. Zoe and Kenny. © Zoe Caryl 2017

“The workshops are proving really popular,” says Zoe. “There are so many people in the area interested in music and singing and we’re aiming to put on as many varied events as possible. When we play locally the audience is predominantly British so we speak English, but if there are French people in we always speak French as well. We have a few French songs in our repertoire but people like to hear English and American music from us. For our country and line-dancing concerts the audiences are mainly French, so we speak French. They want to hear all the American country and line-dancing hits. Our workshops are in English at present but I will do the first singing one in French on June 8 with the help of a local friend, Janet Hall, who provides bilingual assistance.

If you’re interested in laying down a track or two, fancy some guitar or singing tuition, or perhaps you just can’t wait to hear McKenZie in action at a venue near you, visit their websites: www.boutonnerougestudio.com www.mckenziemusic.fr www.mckenziecountry.com

“I only began to learn French for that first gig in 2012 and found it quite difficult as with going to a stage school, I missed languages in favour of theatrical studies. But Kenny learned quite a lot when working as a bandleader in Monaco in the late 1980s. We are OK in conversation, but of course need to improve and are always keen to learn more. We’re so lucky that our fantastic neighbours don’t speak English, so we can practice our French with them every day!” Highlights of their life in France so far? “It would have to be the amazing response from audiences here when we play,” says Zoe. “It seems people really appreciate live music here in France, be it pop, rock or country. There’s a great atmosphere and joie de vivre here.” And the low points? “We honestly can’t think of anything major,” says Zoe.“When we made the big move in 2014 and I was coming off the ferry at Caen, I just didn’t know if the van I was driving would make it, fully loaded, up all those Normandy hills. At one point I was down to 40mph at midnight in the pouring rain with just Annabelle the cat for company. Kenny was in another van. Annabelle was in her travel cage and was not happy. She had yowled all the way from Essex to Portsmouth and then went into an angry silence from Caen to Chef Boutonne. She loves it here now, though. She’s got a garden 20 times bigger than the one she had in Essex!” As to their future plans, McKenZie may well start to cut back on their UK tours and spend more time in France. “The workshops are looking promising as there are so many people here interested in singing and playing music. I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying it. It’s such a pleasure sharing some of my experiences and advice with those wanting to improve their singing and confidence singing on a microphone. Wherever we play, Kenny always gets requests to teach and he has encouraged many guitar players over the years. “Now we’ve finishing building works to the studio we’re able to devote some time again to song-writing. We’ve released three original albums since 2007 and have two new albums in progress. One is country music and the other an eclectic mix of styles, with many of the songs originals and already written.” Believe it or not, there is some space in their hectic lives for non-musical past-times. “We both enjoy cooking and I’m mad on gardening,” says Zoe. “Kenny has really enjoyed all the work we’ve done to the house and he now always has a project on the go – even making bespoke furniture for all the lovely, quirky spaces in our old French home.” This is one of a series of articles featuring those in the region with interesting stories..... If you feel your French Adventure is worth sharing, please contact us.

On this month May 16, 1717: Writer Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, is imprisoned in the Bastille. His satirical attacks on politics and religion upset the government and he was jailed for almost a year. His time in prison failed to dry up his satirical pen, however, and in 1726 he was forced to flee to England. He returned several years later but his Lettres Philosophiques criticising established religions and political institutions meant he was forced into hiding again. He retreated to the Champagne region, where he lived with his mistress and patroness, Madame du Chatelet. In 1750, he moved to Berlin on the invitation of Frederick II of Prussia and later settled in Switzerland, where he wrote his best-known work, Candide. He died in Paris in 1778, having returned to supervise the production of one of his plays. May 20, 1927: Charles Lindbergh, a 25-year-old American pilot, leaves Roosevelt Field, Long Island, in his small monoplane, the Spirit of St Louis, on the world’s first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He was also trying to win a $25,000 prize for the first solo non-stop flight between New York and Paris. He took off in the rain at 7.52am and 33 hours later, after a 3600-mile flight, he landed at Le Bourget, Paris, to become an instant worldwide hero. His biggest problem had been trying to stay awake. He had to hold his eyelids open with his fingers and hallucinated ghosts passing through the cockpit. May 26, 1940: The World War Two evacuation of Dunkirk, on the northern coast of France, begins in order to save the British Expeditionary Force trapped by the advancing German army. By June 2, boats and vessels of all shapes and sizes had ferried 200,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian soldiers across the English Channel. May 18, 2013: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in France, the 13th country worldwide to allow it. A bill granting samesex couples the right to marry and jointly adopt children was originally introduced in November 2012 to the National Assembly by the Socialist government of Prime Minister JeanMarc Ayrault with support from President Francois Hollande. It became official on May 18, 2013 and the first official same-sex ceremony took place in Montpelier 11 days later.

Mick Austin is an award-winning freelance journalist based in the Pays-de-la-Loire. He has had his work published in several expat magazines and newspapers and has also written the Mayenne Tourist Board’s only English language brochure. He runs a gite business at www.gitefortwo.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 29

Communications How to Set up your New Android Tablet or Mobile Phone...


n February ‘The DSM’ did a survey of its readership asking you for your feedback on the magazine and whilst speaking to Sarah about the articles I write, I asked if there was any feedback. Sarah told me that there had been requests for more information on Tablets and Mobile Telephones. The first of these articles is on setting up a new tablet or mobile telephone that uses the Android operating system, simply because there are more Android systems than any other. The other two operating systems are Microsoft’s Windows Mobile for Smart phones, Pocket PCs and Tablets. This is essentially similar to the Windows you use on your PC. The other is the Apple Macintosh Operating system for iPhones, iPods and iPads known as iOS and is exclusive to Apple Products. More on these in future articles. The setup process on your new device seems like a daunting task but taken one step at a time, it is quite straight forward. In this first article we shall start to personalise the device to your requirements by adding you as the owner/user and getting the device connected to your router and/or WiFi hotspot. The first thing you need is a Google account. If you do not have one, the reasons/benefits are: • Your device’s data will be backed up to the cloud (on the internet), keeping your data safe and secure • You can have multiple devices linked to the same Google account, not only Android devices but PCs as well - brilliant for sharing data • Your email, calendar and contacts are available on all devices • Change the data on one device and the change is reflected on all other devices • Applications you get either free or paid are available on all other Android devices • Your favourites/bookmarks are available on all devices • You can get Applications (apps) from the Play Store, Google’s on-line repository of programs for your Android devices, both free and paid • You have access to many more Google services such as Google Docs and Sheets, Google’s Word Processor and Spreadsheet applications, maps and Satnav all for Free. Just because you have to have an email account to use the Google services you may still have other email addresses working on the device, I will cover this in an article in the near future. Now let’s set up your device. Before you start, you will need: • details of your existing Google account, (i.e. the email address and password - don’t worry if you don’t have one, you may create one as you go) • access to an internet connection – so you will need the security key to connect to the WiFi, or if it is a mobile phone then a valid cellular SIM card from your ISP/Phone service provider that has a data element included for connection the Mobile internet service usually 3G or 4G. 1. The first thing you are asked when you switch on is to choose your language, so scroll down the list and choose the one you want. 2. Get connected to the internet, ideally you will have the code to connect to a Wifi service; if not your mobile phone service should permit you to connect to the internet. If you are setting up using a Wifi Hotspot, make sure you have the code 30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

3. 4.


6. 7.

• • • • •

to connect to it. I prefer to use a Wifi connection rather than the Mobile telephone Wifi. Let’s make sure the Wifi feature is turned on: find the settings Icon and chose Wifi and make sure it is turned on, if not, do so by pressing the switch and moving it to the On position. Once the Wifi is on, the device will search for available Wifi near you. The top of the list usually has the strongest signal and is probably the one you want, if it has a padlock on it or is marked “Secured” you must know the key (code) to connect. Chose the relevant Wifi, then tap “Connect”, Usually a dialogue box is displayed with a blank space to enter the code, tap here and an on-screen keyboard should appear for you to enter the code. (You may need to tap “Show password” so that you may see the code you are entering.) Now enter the code, take your time and be precise, check the code and tap “Connect”. You will be presented with available Wifi connections. Pick the one you need. If it is marked as Secured then you must know its key to be able to connect. Once you have connected to the internet you should be asked to log on using your existing Google account or create a new account. You may use any Google email address issued for any of these products to Logon: Gmail YouTube Google Apps AdWords Any other Google product

8. Enter the Username of your Google account, (you do not need the @gmail.com or @googlemail.co.uk) then your password and logon. If you have other Google accounts you may add those later. 9. If you do not already have a Google account, choose the Create option, complete the on-screen form and Google will setup your account (make a note of the ID, password and recovery account info!). It can take up to 5 minutes for this to happen, longer on a slow connection. 10. Google would like to know your location; because they want to provide the most relevant results for your searches. Most Android devices have GPS built in, so they know where you are on the planet and Google is simply getting your permission to use this info when searching for you. 11. The final step is to set the date and time, I like to set this manually to start, but let the phone get the correct time from the internet thereafter, by clicking Automatic after setup. You are asked the time zone, so scroll to the one you need and tap it, then follow the instructions to enter the date and time and chose how you would like it displayed. Ross Hendry is the proprietor of Interface Consulting and Engineering, who has over 42 years experience in Communications, Computer Technology and Direct Marketing. (see advert directly opoosite).

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 31

Food & Drink Endive Challenge... by Jacqueline Brown


am sure you all know how it is, that moment of indecision when you just can’t make up your mind whether it will be a cauliflower week, or a cabbage week. It was while dithering at the market stall that the market vendor tried to offer me some help by saying the endives were particularly good this week. My reply, “I’ve never eaten endives”, sent a collective gasp followed by a ripple of conversation around the other customers. Blaming this failing on my being English and never having noticed them in England, so had no idea what you do with them, I selected a cauliflower and left them discussing their favourite endive recipes, of which there were many, thinking I had got away with it. Not so. The following week, the endive reared it’s head again and this time as I was the only customer I allowed myself to be persuaded, mainly due to the fact the vendor’s favourite way to cook it was wrapped in ham and baked in a béchamel sauce, topped with grated cheese. I’ve a weak spot when it comes to hot cheesy dishes and as endives have a reputation for being bitter, this seemed the safest way to experiment. Luckily for me the butcher had some nice looking sliced ham, so I left the market with all the necessary ingredients and enthusiasm to be a bit more adventurous with my cooking. The next stop was my French friend Christine, who claims to eat endive almost daily at this time of year, so seemed like the perfect choice to share a recipe and top tips with me. Preparing the endive was quite simple, I sliced the root end off, carefully ensuring not too much as it must stay together and then gently simmered it in a litre of salted water for about twenty minutes. If you don’t like too bitter an endive, a teaspoon of sugar can be added to the water, but I took the risk. The most important thing seemed to be to ensure the endives were well drained before wrapping each one in a slice of ham and adding them to the gratin dish. I let them cool slightly, placing them upside down in a sieve before giving them a gentle squeeze, as Christine had instructed. I made my usual béchamel sauce, and for two endives 20g flour, 20g butter, 200ml of milk and some grated nutmeg, seemed just right. I added cheese to the sauce and sprinkled some more to the top, before baking it for twenty minutes in a moderate oven.

Ian’s Orange Day by Caroline Self

Last winter I hosted six Cookery Demonstrations for Ian’s Orange Day Cancer Research. Approximately 35 people attended these sessions and a total of 300€ was raised. Both French and English speakers attended and I showed them how bread, scones, Yorkshire puddings and most importantly, crumpets were made. Everybody enjoyed their afternoon and went away with not only baked goodies (if they were not eaten at the time!) but also some extra baking knowledge. Next Autumn starting on the 3rd Tuesday of October I will repeat these sessions, but vary the menu slightly to demonstrate Welsh teacakes, homemade pasta, Barrabrith (teabread) and once again, crumpets.

Busy bakers © Caroline Self 2017

In the meantime, please put Thursday 8th June in your diaries, which is Ian’s Orange Day for Cancer Research when free cream teas will be on offer. This year’s event will have a garden theme, with home-made garden Truggs filled with donated prizes. For more information about next month’s event, please contact me by email: caroline.self@sfr.fr

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

32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

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

My French friends couldn’t wait for my thoughts on endives, and those not present at the market came up with even more cooking suggestions for me. Well, I thought they were OK, but nothing special and I’m sure without the ham and warm cheese I would have been rather disappointed. I’d certainly pick cauliflower cheese over endive any day. Just one thing, don’t tell them, but I used grated emmental and not gruyère, because I’m such a rebel.

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

Stripped-Down Wine All you need to know about ALSACE

by John Sherwin


• • •

uth The winemaking area is a thin, north-so NE in ) kms 70 by kms 5 to (2 e angl rect the France, close to the Rhine and just over 15,600 ha border from Germany’s Black Forest. munes in production over 119 winemaking com Produces 30% of France’s still whitesdry or 92% of production is white – mostly n of sweet (75%), but significant proportio sparkling (25%). 8% red and rosé range of Most wines produced from one of a on the ears app e nam se who grape varieties ce) label (unlike most of the rest of Fran of area by ties varie nt orta imp t Mos c 21%; plantation: Riesling 22%; Pinot Blan ; Pinot Gewurztraminer 20%; Pinot Gris 15% Noir 10%.

And if you want to know more…

on a label indicates a blend of grape varieties, the exception to the rule of single grape (still) wines. An inexpensive option, but can be surprisingly pleasant.


This sliver of land is in a seriously strategic location. From the 1600s onwards it was fought over during the 30 Years War, the Franco-Dutch War, the Franco-Prussian War, and the two World Wars: tugs-of-war with sovereignty changing between France and Germany four or five times (I lost count). Hardly conducive to the peaceful development of vineyards. It hadn’t always been so: from Roman times through to the Middle Ages (with the help of monasteries) wine production thrived, and from the 1960s to the present quality and discernment have been re-established.

Geography and soil

Alsace is in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountain range, making it one of the driest regions in France. The geological transformations that made the Vosges also gave Alsatian winemakers a mosaic of at least twenty soil types, often in close proximity to one another. The best vineyards lie on the south or south-east facing foothills, where the semi-continental climate – cold winter, mild spring, warm summer, humid autumn – makes for a long, relatively cool growing season, perfect for individual grape varieties to give a full account of what they have to offer.

The grape varieties

Riesling produced on the French side of the Rhine is noticeably drier than its German neighbour. Pale yellow, aromas of fruit (citrus, peach, pear) and white flowers. With age, better examples express minerality and a tinge of gasoline. Dry, yet fresh and rich. Great with fish, shellfish, and white meat. Pinot Blanc is mainly a workhorse for the sparkling wine which is why so much of it is grown. Pleasant and simple. Gewurztraminer has an intense gold colour influenced by the light red skin of the grape. There’s no mistaking this guy when you inhale – lush, intense waves of exotic fruit (lychee, mango, passion fruit), rose, orange peel, and spice (cloves, pepper). Gewurz = spicey in German. The go-to wine for Indian and SE Asian cuisine. Pinot Gris has a yellow-gold colour with complex, often smokey aromas: undergrowth, mushrooms, moss, honey, wax. Well rounded and fresh in the mouth, sometimes with a hint of sweetness. Can stand up to game, veal, pork, kidneys, mushrooms, even with rich sauces. Kind of an autumn wine. Pinot Noir is the only authorised red grape variety, much of it used in the white and rosé sparklers. The still version is light and fresh with cherry and raspberry aromas. Good for picnics, barbecues, and Middle Eastern and Moroccan cuisine. The word ‘Edelzwicker’

Wine varieties and classification

Apart from the single varietals I’ve mentioned above, which come in varying degrees of dryness, there are two particularities in the Alsatian wine-making canon: Vendanges Tardives (VT) and Selection de Grains Nobles (SGN). VT wines (literally ‘late harvest’) are made in exceptional years and only from one of the four ‘noble’ grape varieties – Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris or very rarely Muscat. As the grapes are packed with sugar, you would expect a sweet wine, but in fact VT range from dry to medium sweet. Strange but true. SGN wines are a further refinement of VT where the grapes have been affected by noble rot (the infection that makes Sauternes Sauternes) and here you can definitely expect lush sweetness. The classification system, pretty meticulous elsewhere in France, is a tad messy in Alsace. OK, there’s the basic AOC Alsace, but on top of that can be added on the label commune names, which represent an extra level of quality control, and place names which are even more closely regulated. In theory, the more words on the label the more complex the wine and the more you pay. A bit infantile and not very helpful for the consumer. The AOC Alsace Grand Cru, of which there are 51, is also a mixed bag, some being worthy of the name others not. There is no Premier Cru level which has got to tell you something about how discombobulated the system is. At least with the third type of classification, AOC Crémant d’Alsace, you do know what you’re getting, ie. fizzy wine made in Alsace. And actually it’s not half bad. So, all things considered, all the more reason to know some…

Reliable producers

The southern end of the Alsace strip, in the Haut-Rhin département, produces better quality wines than the Bas-Rhin to the north. Look for Léon Beyer, Albert Boxler, Marcel Deiss, Hugel, Josmeyer, André Kientzler, Albert Mann, Ostertag, Marc Tempé, Trimbach, Weinbach, and Zind-Humbrecht.

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

by Lynda Gee

So, with a competition element here, I would like suggestions by email: gingers.kitchen@orange.fr.


ello everyone..... we have something slightly different this month! The first recipe titled ‘A Dish With No Name’, is a new meal I’ve invented when I didn’t quite fancy making, or eating, a quiche and I’m looking to christen the dish.

Also under the ‘Gingers Kitchen’ name, I am now doing a 4 course Sunday lunch, restaurant style, at the Salle in Maisontiers. These take place on the third Sunday of each month (the first was 23rd April), with or without reservations. I would like to offer the person who provides the winning name two free places on the date of their choice. And so, onto the recipes!

To accompany this cheesy delight, try:

WARM POTATO AND TOMATO SALAD Ingredients: • Very small, new potatoes if possible or, if not, firm waxy potatoes cut into smal ‘chunks’ • Plenty of fresh cherry tomatoes • Finely chopped chives • Olive oil • White wine vinegar • Freshly ground black pepper, and for those cheese gourmands amongst you, a sprinkling of parmesan I haven’t included quantities here, it really depends on your group, portion sizes and personal taste!

‘A DISH WITH NO NAME’ Ingredients: • Fine breadcrumbs (chapelure) • Selection of mixed cheese pieces of your choice plus a little grated • 3 eggs • ½ an onion finely chopped • 15 -20 cl. single cream • Salt and pepper Method: • Firstly grease a large flan dish with butter and sprinkle with an even coating of fine breadcrumbs. (This part was my husband’s idea and gave a great result!) • Preheat your oven to around 180˚C • Thickly slice or roughly chop your cheese selection and cover the breadcrumbs with a good thick layer • Beat the eggs and cream together, add the salt and pepper, grated cheese and finely chopped onion. (At this stage if you fancy the idea of a slightly souffléd version, separate two of the eggs and beat the whites until thick. Gently stir these into the rest of the mix.) • Pour over the cheeses in the dish • Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes This is one of the reasons the dish isn’t named. If it’s lightly cooked it gives an omelette effect, if a little more cooked it’s quiche-like and the fully cooked version is almost crossed with a souffle! So . . . . get your thinking caps on please.

Lynda is better known as ‘Ginger’s Kitchen’ and provides a full at-home catering service. You can see her advert on P.34. Tel: 06 23 00 72 04

Email: gingers.kitchen@orange.fr

Method: • Boil your potatoes in the normal way, drain and, whilst still warm, put into a salad bowl (or bowls) • Mix with cherry tomatoes (I leave these whole if very small or cut in half if bigger) • Sprinkle with the finely chopped chives • Grind black pepper over to taste and dribble with the olive oil and then the white wine vinegar, using about twice as much olive oil as vinegar Serve warm.

This was also tasty cold, the day after cooking. Lynda is better known as ‘Ginger’s Kitchen’ and provides a full at-home catering service. You can see her advert on P.35.

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

34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017


by Sarah Berry

A very simple apero that only requires two ingredients... some smoked salmon and puff pastry. Unroll the puff pastry and cover half of it with pre-cut strips of smoked salmon. Squeeze some lemon juice over the side with salmon, then a twist of black pepper and finally close up the pastry sealing it around the edges. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200Ë&#x161;C for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bitesized pieces. Simply delicious and so easy!

contact Sarah Berry on 05 49 70 26 21 Monday - Thursday 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 35

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

I find DSM very useful in planning my trips to Deux-Sèvres and things to do on holiday where I visit 3 to 4 times a year but more in general as it keeps me in touch with the area, whats on and a feel for every day life in the region.

! u o Y k n Tha

Thai Style Mussels

by Julie Tee

Even people who didn’t think they liked mussels love this dish, especially if made with the smaller ‘rope’ mussels. This recipe originally came from the British TV Series, ’One Man and his Campervan’. Since moving to France and seeing how our French neighbours, who originate from Northern France, put flaked crab in their ‘moules’ dishes… this family favourite has been taken to another level. Serves 2 (but easily adjustable for a group) Ingredients: • ½ kg of fresh moules/mussels per person • Butter (Or olive oil) for frying • Few spring onions (or shallots) finely chopped • 1 red chili (or more if you like it hot) finely chopped • Couple of cooked crab claws, extract the flesh. • 1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger • Tin coconut milk • Zest and juice of 1 lime • Big handful of chopped coriander

Method: • Prepare the mussels • Pour oil (or butter) into large pan, add onions, garlic and ginger • Fry for a few minutes then add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, then simmer for 4-5 minutes • Add the mussels, cover with lid and cook for 10 mins (or until almost cooked), stir occasionally • We add the crab meat at this stage • When mussels are cooked, squeeze in lime juice, add lime zest and throw in the coriander • Stir up and serve with bread or frites!

We’d love to know your family’s favourite recipe.... Please email us and we’ll happily share them here. 36 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

Motoring The Story Behind The Citroën Logo


he Citroen Double Chevron badge is much more than one of the most famous brand marks in the world, it is a constant reminder to every other car maker that their products rely on a Citroen invention: The Helical Gear, which is used in every vehicle on the road. Before the helical gear, gearboxes were noisy with constant whining, gears were difficult to engage and, once engaged, they provided a far from reliable transfer of power. André Citroen changed all of that. The Citroen family moved to Paris from Warsaw in 1873. Upon arrival, the diaeresis was added to the name (reputedly by one of André’s teachers), changing Citroen to Citroën (a grandfather had been a greengrocer and seller of tropical fruit, and had taken the surname of Limoenman, literally ‘lime man’, his son however preferred Citroen, Dutch for ‘lemon’).

by Tony Barrett: pardeloup@aol.com

In February 2009 Citroën launched a new brand identity to celebrate its 90th anniversary, replacing the 1977 design. The new logo was designed by Landor Associates — a 3D metallic variation of the double chevron logo accompanied by a new font for the Citroën name and the new slogan ‘Créative Technologie’. A TV campaign reminiscing over 90 years of Citroën was commissioned to announce the new identity to the public. After about three decades, the red colour has now disappeared from the logo. Next to the new logo, a new tagline ‘Inspired by you’ is now replacing the old claim ‘Créative Technologie’ which now became obsolete.

In 1912, after visiting some of his wife’s Polish relatives and seeing a distinctive set of chevron-toothed wooden gears in a mill, he could see the advantage of this design over the existing gearing system. His family company Engrenages Citroen, invented, licensed and produced in metal the first helical gears and their distinctive herringbone teeth provided the company with its first and enduring badge. The presentation of the logo has evolved over time. Before the war, it was rendered in yellow on a blue background. After the war, the chevrons had become more subtle, usually on a white background. With the company searching for a new image during the 1980s, the logo became white on red to give an impression of dynamism, emphasized by publicity slogan. Courtesy of www.carlogos.org The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 37

DIARY DATES.. 20 & 21 MAY: Classic Val de Sèvre Car Rally departing from Place de la Brèche, NIORT 24 & 25 JUNE: Grand Prix Historique


38 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

Building & Renovation Small B/W Advert from 34€ per month

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

I love that you’re willing to include articles on events that might interest people, even things like an amateur dramatics production. You’re obviously very much a magazine for the people who read it. Thank you.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 39

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 41

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 43

Business & Finance Marketing Matters by Cindy Mobey

Build a Positive Brand Identity


e all want our businesses to stand out from the crowd. Although it takes some time and effort, it’s worth it to have a unique identity that is instantly recognisable. Here are a few ideas that can help you along your way to having your own brand identity. Choose a business name – what name you choose will depend on what you do. I chose to use my name, coupled with what I do ‘Cindy Mobey Freelance Writer’ – does what it says on the tin. But you might want something that is catchy and captures the nature of your business. Think long and hard as once it’s out there, that is how people will see your business. Logo – Once you have your name, you could incorporate that into a logo – again to make your business recognisable. As well as an overall logo, you could also have smaller logos for individual product lines. Brand Colours – The colours you choose are more important than you might think – according to research by web design and marketing company, WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgement about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on colour alone. In fact almost 85% of consumers cite colour as the primary reason they buy a particular product and 80% believe that colour increases brand recognition. Wow! That’s quite powerful. Tagline – The most important thing with producing a tagline is to be succinct. Your tagline captures what your business does and its values in one, very short sentence. For example, Nike use ‘Just do it’ – L’Oréal use ‘..because you’re worth it’ – both very powerful brands with very simple, catchy taglines that tell you what they want you to remember about them. In order to help you come up with your tagline, concentrate on the features of your business, how your products make people feel. Make a list of all the good things about your business …do your products enhance someone’s life?...make them feel more beautiful?...provide solutions to your customer’s problems? Then brainstorm words that describe those things – it might be worth getting a few friends together to help you brainstorm. Once you have a few words, you can come up with a tagline. Fonts – When looking at your brand for the first time, people will notice the colours and also the font – the way the brand name is written. There are so many different fonts, so try and choose one or two that enhance your business name…for example if you sell vintage jewellery, look at a vintage font. Tone of voice – Most big companies go for straight forward language or the ‘plain English’ approach. This helps customers easily understand what you’re saying without having to wrestle with big words, long sentences or jargon. Keep the language simple and friendly and you can’t go far wrong! I hope this has helped you think about what you might like your brand identity to be – let me know if you have any other ideas, or if you need help to set the brand identity for your business.

Contact Cindy Mobey Tel: 05 45 31 13 86 ~ Email: cindymobey@outlook.com 44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

ONLINE NETWORKING Online groups and forums have fast become the main support networks for many individuals and businesses. In particular for us Expats, such networks can be a comfort when we are dealing with new and challenging systems. This month let’s meet ‘The Loire Business Network Group’

Loire Business Network The Loire Business Network is a support group for businesses who are based within easy travelling of the Loire River. This is typically those in departments 85, 86, 37, 79 & 49. It was set up by Karolyn Chaivigné and Amanda Johnson in 2015. The aim is for small businesses to discuss issues, face and share ideas they may have, as well as mutual promotion of their enterprises. Members are both French & English speaking and share a desire to make the best of business life in France. Whether you are a person running a single gîte, are planning to open a business in the near future, or are an enterprise with employees, you will find this support network beneficial. The group also acts as a platform to raise awareness of events, portes ouvertes & special promotions, whilst avoiding to be a place for direct sales. Complimenting this Facebook group, Karolyn & Amanda also arrange monthly meet-ups for coffee and moral support. These are shown as ‘events’ on the group Facebook page but if you do not have access to Facebook, please contact them and they’ll keep you informed by email. The group are always looking for venues, so please get in touch if you have a something suitable! You can contact Karolyn or Amanda via the Group at www.facebook.com/groups/509397009211518/ or by email: amanda.johnson@spectrum-ifa.com

Make Time to Future-proof your Legacy

by Bradley Warden, Blevins Franks


or UK nationals living in France, estate planning should involve more than just writing a will. Here are some key considerations to ensure your legacy will be distributed as you wish in the most tax-efficient way.

Who your Legacy Goes To

If you are a French resident, ‘forced heirship’ succession law can automatically allocate up to 75% of your estate to your children. UK nationals can override this rule through an EU regulation (Brussels IV) that allows you to apply British law to your estate. However, this is complex and could invite unwelcome implications like UK inheritance tax liability. Explore alternative options that could achieve your aims in a more suitable way.

When and Where your Legacy Goes

You may want some control over when your heirs receive your legacy and how they can use it. If you worry about heirs spending their inheritance unwisely, you could, for example, delay their inheritance until they reach an age where they are likely to be financially mature.

What your Heirs will Pay in Tax

French succession law treats less ‘traditional’ family members very differently, with tax rates up to 60%. Natural or adopted children receive a tax-free allowance of €100,000 per parent and pay between 5% and 45%. Stepchildren, however, are treated as non-relatives, with an allowance of just €1,594 and a 60% rate.

The same ‘non-relative’ rules apply to unmarried couples, while inheritances between married partners are not taxable at all. Note also that any UK assets may attract UK inheritance tax if they are above the £325,000 (£650,000 for a couple) threshold.

Other Tax Considerations

When you leave savings and investments to heirs, they start paying tax on the income and gains on receipt. You should explore structures that will be tax-efficient for them. Also consider if these investments can pass on to your chosen heirs easily or will it be a drawn out and costly process?

Don’t Forget your Own Needs

While you may want the best for your heirs, make sure you enjoy your wealth in the meantime. Choose arrangements that provide tax advantages during your lifetime as well as for your heirs in the future. Estate planning is a specialist and complex area, especially when you have to consider the rules of two countries and how they interact. Take professional, personalised advice to make sure the right money passes to the right hands at the right time while still meeting your retirement objectives.

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

‘‘How can I make life easier for my heirs, and ensure my estate planning is in good order?” Talk to the people who know.


At Blevins Franks we focus on helping our clients create the optimum estate plan to match their wishes. Besides minimising the impact of inheritance taxes and succession law, we aim to make the inheritance process easier for families. We have produced a ‘My Legacy’ document, which you can use to provide your family with information on your wishes, important documents etc. Please contact us if you would like a copy or a comprehensive review of your estate planning.

contact us now on

05 49 75 07 24 niort@blevinsfranks.com

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







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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 45

Income Tax Forms 2017


h no! It’s that time of the year again when you have to fill in your income tax form. It’s all in French and there’s lots of pages and boxes to fill in! ...and they have changed it again!

if the pension is public (civil servant,etc) or Privé (private and state pension). So if you have both, tick both. You then have to report pensions to the pension section on the 2042, page 3, section 1, line 1AM (or 1BM for declarant 2) for pensions taxed in France and line 1AL (or 1BL for declarant 2) for pensions taxed in the UK (teachers, civil servant, etc). In section 2, on page 2 is where you put the interest you earned on savings in the UK. And yes, ISAs and Premium bonds are taxable in France as you are French resident! So you have to fill them in at the bottom of page 2 in the box 230 “intérêts”. Enter the country of origin, then you write the amount on line 233, the again on line 237 and 242. Then you report the amount in line 2TR, page 3, section 2 of the 2042. In section 4, you enter the revenues from house rental abroad. Then report on section 6 to get the tax credit (because it is taxed in the UK) and report on line4BE and 4BK, section 4 of the 2042. If revenues from rental are > 15000 euro, you have to fill in the 2044 form. In section 6, you put the revenue from government pension (military, police, NHS, civil servant, etc) and rental income from property in the UK (those will always be taxed in the UK whether you are French resident or not). Then you report the amount in line 8TK, page 4, section 8 of the 2042.

Well, worry not, help is at hand. I will try to explain it to you and make it simple. I will only cover the most common revenues so for more technical information, contact me directly. 1) Changes • They have added some new lines to differ from revenues that are taxed in France and revenues that are taxed in the UK (civil service pension, teacher, army, rental etc.). • They have also created a new form 2042RICI for tax credit such as giving to charities, employing someone for gardening or cleaning, etc.

3) What forms and how do you fill them in? The 2042 is the blue form that everybody has to fill in and it is on this form that you report what you have filled in on other forms. But there are different versions of the 2042: •

2042K: This is the one most of you should use as you can report revenue from abroad and you can’t on the 2042SK. Check or fill in the information on page 1 (name, address, etc). On page 2, check or fill in the information asked for as they can give you allowances or discount (invalidity, number of children living with you, etc). 2042RICI: This is the form on which you report things that give you tax credits such as employing a gardener or cleaner, giving to charity, having kids at college, lycee, etc or doing some work on your house related to saving energy and ecology. This form is NEW. All that used to be on the 2042K. 2042C Pro: If you are self-employed in France, this is where you fill in your professional revenue. This is also the form you use if you have to pay the wealth tax (if your worldwide assets are worth more than 1.3 million Euro). It’s complicated so contact me. This is also the form used to declare revenues from gîtes or chambre d’hôtes.

2044: This is the form to fill in if your rental income is superior to 15 000€ per year.

2047: This is the purple form (used to be pink) on which you enter your revenue from abroad: Enter all your pension revenues (even those from civil servant that are taxed in the UK) on page 1, section 1 in the box called Pensions, retraites, rentes. Be careful, you now must tick the box stating

46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

• • • •

3916: you have a bank account outside France, then you have to declare it on that form (section1 and 4). One form per account. Or if you have a lot, on a blank piece of A4 paper. Don’t forget to date and sign the forms!! The exchange rate for 2016 is 1.22 (that is the average of last year). If your pension has been directly transferred to your French bank account, just add up all the figures of last year.

4) Help A complete guide on how to fill in your tax form online is on our web site: www.bh-assurances.fr/en/practical-informations/ If you are one of my customers, you are entitled to free help in our offices: • Ruffec on Tuesday 9th May (2pm - 5pm) If you are not one of my customers (well, you should be!), I will be offering free help at this location: •

The Lemon Tree in Sauzé-Vaussais on Friday 12th May (10.30am to 12pm)

Make sure you have all the figures ready and the relevant forms (you can get them from your local tax office) when you come to see me. And remember to check out our website www.bh-assurances.fr/ en for all my previous articles (‘practical information’) and register to receive our monthly Newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook: ‘Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et Thierry Hatesse’ And don’t hesitate to contact me for any other information or quote on subjects such as Funeral cover, inheritance law, investments, car, house, professional and top up health insurance, etc.

Isabelle Want: BH Assurances, Ruffec 05 45 31 01 61 or 06 71 30 39 11 Email: isabelle.want@bh-assurances.fr

No Orias: 07004255

2) Important dates: • You have to declare your revenue for the year 2016 (January 1st to 31st of December). However, the tax office accepts that you use the revenue corresponding to the UK tax year. • You can start completing the forms online (only if it is NOT the first time) from the 12th April and until the 23rd May (Charente, Charente-Maritime) or until the 6th June (Vienne, Haute Vienne and Deux-Sèvres). You will start receiving the paper forms from 12th April and you have until 17th May to hand it in or send it by post. The result (the bill!) is called Avis d’ imposition and is sent to you from mid-August. • Note that from January 2018, the French government has decided to take the tax differently! You will be taxed each month according to your previous year tax rate (written on your tax bill form called Avis d’imposition). Then when you fill in your income tax form for the year 2018, they either reimburse you if they have charged you too much or ask you for more money if they have not charged you enough!

by Isabelle Want

Ask Amanda If you were unable to attend last month’s Tour de Finance, here’s a brief update of what was covered... Christopher Tagg, Business Development Director at The Spectrum IFA Group, hosted this well attended event, introducing a new and informal question and answer format which enabled guests to engage directly with leading industry professionals on a range of subjects. George Forsyth from Prudential International answered questions on the flexibility and tax efficiency of Assurance Vie investments for French residents. He explained the differences between Assurance Vie solutions from Prudential International and those typically offered by French Banks. Jeremy Ferguson of SEB International outlined current pension transfer opportunities available to British expatriates, highlighting the benefits of switching from a UK scheme and the importance of determining suitability of a transfer to individual circumstances. Jeremy also explained the implications of pension tax changes announced in last month’s UK budget. Mark Ommanney from Tilney Investments provided an interesting insight into how global politics has a significant impact on investment performance. With a presidential Twitter feed able to influence company share prices in just 140 characters, he explained how investment managers need to be politically as well as financially aware. Sue Cook of Currencies Direct summarised how customers can effectively manage currency transactions in both the short and medium term, including how to achieve substantially better terms than those available from our banks. Sue also introduced the Currencies Direct online portal and highlighted its ease of use. Finally, Amanda Johnson, a regional partner with The Spectrum IFA Group, explained how Spectrum delivers comprehensive financial planning solutions for expatriates in France (and across the EU), emphasising the importance of local regulation and a commitment to long-term customer care. The Spectrum IFA Group is fully regulated to offer financial advice in France and we do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.

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

Making Decisions

by Sue Cook “I will need to transfer some money from the UK to France within the next few months but am hoping to do it when the rate has improved. I believe you have a service where you monitor the changing rates? How does this work (and what is the advantage compared to me trying to look up the rates regularly myself)? How can I calculate what improvement might be realistic? Also, what are the rates offered by currency firms to customers based on?“

When sending money overseas, making the right decisions is essential, and it doesn’t stop with the choice of the provider and transfer service. One of the main decisions you’ll have to take concerns the timing to send your money abroad. This may seem a bit daunting, but don’t worry, currency transfer specialists have developed many tools to help you get it right, and avoid losing out in poor exchange rates. As 2016 demonstrated, the currency market is hugely volatile and exchange rates can fluctuate dramatically in a short space of time. Between Brexit negotiations, the French elections and other upcoming events on the global political and economic scenes, we’re likely to see more fluctuations over the coming months. Currency experts know that following these rate variations is essential to find the right time to transfer money overseas, therefore, they give you the option to set up Rate Alerts. All you have to do is to tell them your desired rate; they will follow the markets on your behalf and whenever your target rate has been achieved, they will inform you by email or SMS. It’s quick, simple, and saves you time to focus on what’s really important to you. Understanding the market movements is also essential to make the right money transfer decisions. Unlike traditional banks, which split their focus between many different products and services, currency transfer specialists are concentrated on foreign exchange markets, so they are able to provide you the guidance you need. Most of them offer a personalised service which includes communications with a dedicated account manager and access to online tools such as currency charts; allowing you to follow the evolution of your currency; and regular market updates which are delivered straight into your email inbox. No need to browse all the news websites and jargon-specific articles, the experts will explain to you in detail what has happened on the markets, how it impacted the currencies, and what to look out for. Although there isn’t any magical tool to predict the future variations of exchange rates, the elements mentioned above, combined with help from currency specialists, will enable you to assess the appropriate time for your transfer. It’s important that you keep in mind that the exchange rates displayed online and on various communications are quite often interbank rates - that’s to say the wholesale rates at which banks (and only banks) buy and sell currency between each other. Provided for indicative purposes, they give you a good overview of the market variations. However, whenever you’re ready or the right time comes around to transfer, we advise that you speak to your account manager to obtain a quote based on your transfer amount. They will help you transfer worry-free while making the most of your money.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 47


Small B/W Advert from 34€ ttc

per month

48 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

210 600€ ~ Ref: 74061CLN85

104 500€ ~ Ref: 73940CLN79

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


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017 | 49

Time for the Good Life?

by Joanna Leggett


hoever said you can’t have it both ways? We beg to differ – in the Deux-Sèvres you can have it all!

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about a horse for the children with grazing land for animals. Or perhaps your dream is a lovely home with room enough for a smallholding - though we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t be looking to emulate Tom and Barbara from The Good Life? We’ve found three wonderful properties which offer all you need to balance your equestrian and gardening dreams – better still all have lovely homes attached!

peaceful location. This lovely long golden stone house, so typical of this region, offers spacious living with four bedrooms. The house and various outbuildings, including barn, garage and three loose boxes form a large ‘courtyard’ style garden – great for children - with gated access to paddocks where your horses can graze peacefully on the hectare of land - 230 050€.

The first is on the borders of the Vendée and Deux-Sèvres, totally private, in an elevated position with panoramic views - an impressive country house (Leggett ref: 67986, photo left) with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Inside there’s masses of living space; outside the potential is also massive with around two acres of land with seven outbuildings including two houses (one with habitation rights). Once a smallholding, there’s room enough to spare for as much planting or animals as you could desire – on the market for 267 500€.

But if your heart’s desire includes a babbling brook, how about a five bedroomed detached stone property in the grounds of an old watermill (Leggett ref: 72989, photo right)​? This fabulous property is surrounded by gardens (naturally there’s a swimming pool) and pasture while the river and mill run flow to the front. Inside there are generous living spaces with French windows opening to the outside, all bedrooms are south-facing overlooking the gardens and river. But wait there’s more … as well as the garage and other outbuildings there are three loose boxes and a tack room with schooling arena for the horses you’ll be keeping on this 6.5 acre property! For sale at 399 000€.

Just 3.5 kms from Brioux-sur-Boutonne, with all the amenities needed for everyday living (Melle is just 15 kms away), sits our next offering (Leggett ref: 71306 photo right) – a detached house in another very

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



Ref: 73910 In a hamlet close to SauzéVaussais is this stylish stone house offering 3 bedrooms, features, barn, and land. LORIGNE €246,100

Buying or selling?

0% TTC agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: D

Contact the ‘Best Estate Agency in France’

Ref: 73363 Two stone houses, both with three bedrooms and benefitting from a charming garden and above ground pool. LOUBILLE €189,000

Ref: 74379 Detached 4 bed / 2 bath family property within walking distance of bar and a bakers. 84kms from Poitiers. MOUTIERS €172,800

8% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: C

8% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D

Ref: 74021 5 bedroom bungalow set 2 acres and situated in the heart of town with all amenities. An ideal family home. MONCOUTANT €235,400 7% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: E

Ref: 73909 One habitable 3 bed house and another to complete do up with tons of original features. Close to village. CERSAY €71,500 10% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Ref: 73940 3 bed house with garden in village location close to local shops perfect as a lock-up-and-leave. ST AUBIN DE PLAINE €104,500 10% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Looking for a new career? Join our winning team. To find out about becoming a sales agent email: recruitment@leggett.fr

Tel:05 53 60 84 88 or 0800 900 324 www.leggettfrance.com 50 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, May 2017

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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine, May 2017  

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine, May 2017  

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

Profile for thedsm