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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Welcome! to Issue 33 of

‘The DeuxSèvres Monthly’ magazine.

As I  sit  here  writing  this  piece  of   text,  it   is  mid   October  and  I  am  already  thinking  about   the  “C”   word! This  issue  is  packed   with  interesting  articles  plus,   we   already  have  some  notices  of  festive   Carol   singing,  Marchés  de  Noël  and   open  houses,  so   you  can  start  your  Christmas  shopping  early! I’ve  managed   to   omit  the  Santa  hats,  presents  and  stars  this  time,  but   next  month  will  see  a  very  twinkly  Christmas  issue  and  will  be  available   from  28th  November. Don’t  forget  to  grab  your  copy  or  read  it  online. Happy  November  and  see  you  next  month!

à plus, Sarah. Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

CONTENTS

What’s On.....................................................................................4 Hobbies,  Clubs  &  Associations.....................................................6 Take  a  Break.................................................................................7 Getting  Out  &  About....................................................................8 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness............................................................16 Our  Furry  Friends.......................................................................17 The  Great  Outdoors...................................................................19 A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.................................21 French  Life,  Food  &  Drink...........................................................21 Motoring....................................................................................25 Communications........................................................................27 Building  &  Renovation...............................................................28 Business,  Finance  &  Property....................................................34

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS   79  Renovations.....................................................................................................31 A  La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)................................................................................ 22 All  Things  Equestrian........................................................................................... 17 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)...................................................................... 26 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  D/Glazing)......................................... 2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)................................................................................ 30 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)..................................................................... 32 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber)............................................................................... 32 ARB  French  Property........................................................................................... 37 Arbrecadabra.com  (Tree  surgery)........................................................................19 Assurances  Maucourt  (GAN)............................................................................... 25 BH  Assurances  /  Allianz....................................................................................... 34 Bill  McEvoy  (Plumber  /  Heating  Engineer).......................................................... 33

...continued.

Blevins Franks  Tax  &  Wealth  Management......................................................... 35 Bois  Nature  Energie  (Firewood  &  Fencing)......................................................... 19 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)........................................................... 26 Café  des  Belles  Fleurs.......................................................................................... 24 Caniclôture  (Hidden  Fencing  for  Dogs)............................................................... 17 Carolyn’s  Cakes.................................................................................................... 23 Chez  Tante  Mabel  (Gift  Shop)............................................................................. 9 Chris  Bassett  Construction.................................................................................. 29 Chris  Parsons  (Heating/Electrical/Plumbing)...................................................... 33 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)...................................................... 9 Cleaning  Services  by  Karen.................................................................................. 37 Clean  Sweep  Chimney  Services........................................................................... 30 Come  Dine  with  Dave  (Dining  experience)......................................................... 11 Concept  Construction......................................................................................... 29 CSB  Construction................................................................................................. 29 Currencies  Direct  (Money  Transfers)................................................................... 36 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon).............................................................................................. 16 DB  Electricité....................................................................................................... 31 D.W  Cooper  (Carpenter,  Roofer,  Mason)............................................................. 30 David  Cropper  (Stump  Grinding  &  Jungle  Busting)............................................ 19 David  Watkins  (Chimney  Sweep)........................................................................ 30 DJ  Jeff  (Professional  DJ)....................................................................................... 9 D.J  Maintenance  (Handyman)............................................................................ 31 Down  to  Eart  Pool  Design  (Swimming  Pool  Design  &  Construction).................. 29 EcoPower  (Solar  Thermal  Trading  Company)...................................................... 31 Electricien  Anglais  en  France.............................................................................. 31 Environmental  Heating  Services......................................................................... 32 Equi  Libre  Immobilier  Conseil............................................................................. 39 Etat  d’Esprit  (Ladies  Fashion,  Jewellery  &  Gift  Shop)......................................... 8 Franglais  Deliveries............................................................................................. 26 French  Tuition  (Pascale  Matéo)........................................................................... 15 Fresco  Interiors.................................................................................................... 10 George  Rayner  Computers.................................................................................. 28 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers)........................................ 31 Heather’s  Pet  Care  Services................................................................................ 17 Hippychick  Ltd  (Baby  &  Toddler  Products).......................................................... 9 Homes  In  France  (Tony  Murdoch)....................................................................... 39 I  C  O  Electricté..................................................................................................... 31 Insink  Plumbing................................................................................................. .. 32 James  Harris  (Plasterer)....................................................................................... 31 Jon  Crocker  Photography..................................................................................... 19 JP  Lainé  (Chimney  Sweep)................................................................................... 30 Julia  Hunt  -­‐  Agent  Commercial............................................................................ 37 Karen  Renel-­‐King  (Sworn  Translation)................................................................. 15 Kelly  &  Sue’s  Pampering  Events........................................................................... 16 L’étable  Gastronomique  (Restaurant).................................................................. 23 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).................................... 33 Laura  Walker  Jewellery........................................................................................ 9 Leggett  Immobilier.............................................................................................. 38 Les  Jardins  St  Laurent  (Bistro)............................................................................. 23 Le  Logis  -­‐  The  Perfect  Pig  Company..................................................................... 21 Le  Petit  Cadeau................................................................................................... 9 Mark  Sabestini  Renovation  &  Construction........................................................ 30 MB  Plumbing  &  Building  Services....................................................................... 33 Michael  Hobson  (Painter  &  Decorator)............................................................... 33 ML  Computers..................................................................................................... 28 Motor  Parts  Charente.......................................................................................... 26 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances......................................................................... 26 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services.......................................................................... 30 Needa  Hand  Services........................................................................................... 33 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).............................................................. 29 Pause!  café.......................................................................................................... 24 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire)............................................................................. 29 Plan-­‐170  (Professional  Scale  Drawings).............................................................. 28 Polar  Express  (Frozen  Foods).............................................................................. 23 Premier  Autos  (Mechanic).................................................................................. 26 Red,  White  &  Blue  (English  groceries)................................................................. 21 Restaurant  des  Canards....................................................................................... 22 Robert  Walker  Plomberie.................................................................................... 32 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)............................................. 27 Sandy  G  (Hairdresser).......................................................................................... 16 Satellite  TV  (Nigel  Gubb)...................................................................................... 28 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Fosse  Installations  &  Groundworks)................................... 29 SCP  Notary........................................................................................................... 38 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors)................................................................................. 37 Silverwood  Books................................................................................................ 14 Simon  The  Tiler.................................................................................................... 32 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)............................................................. 37 Steve  Enderby...................................................................................................... 33 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)....................................................... 15 The  Craft  Cabin  (Card  Making  and  Crafts)........................................................... 10 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre............................................................ 26 The  Market.......................................................................................................... 10 Total  Renovation  Services  (Michael  Dominey)................................................... 32 Trisha  Mobile  Hairdresser.................................................................................... 16 Vendée  Carriers................................................................................................... 26

© Sarah  Berry   2013.     All   rights  reserved.    Material   may   not   be   reproduced  without  permission.    While   care   is   taken  to  ensure  that  articles  and  features  are  accurate,  Sarah   Berry   accepts  no  liability   for   reader  dissatisfaction.     The   opinions  expressed   and  experiences   shared  are   given  by  individual   authors  and  do  not  necessarily  represent  the   views  or  opinions  of  the  publisher.    Please  ensure  you  verify  that  the  company  you  are  dealing  with  is  a  registered  trading  company  in  France  and/or  elsewhere. <<The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly>>  est   édité   par  Sarah   Berry,  La   Bartière,   79130,   Secondigny.   Tél:   05  49  70   26  21.    Directeur  de  la  publication  et  rédacteur  en   chef:   Sarah   Berry.   Crédits   photos:  Sarah  Berry,   Clkr  et   morgeufile.com.  Impression:  Raynaud  Imprimeurs,  zone  industrielle,  BP13,  79160,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.    Dépôt  légal:  novembre  2013  -­‐  Tirage:  4500  exemplaires.    Siret:  515  249  738  00011  ISSN:  2115-­‐4848

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

What’s On... November 2013

What’s Coming Up...

1st December  -­‐  Christmas  Market At   Pause!   café,   L’Absie   from   11am   -­‐   5pm.   Lots   to   see   and   do   including  a  visit  from  Santa!  See  advert  on  P.24 1st  December  -­‐  Christmas  Lunch  with  Live  Jazz At   Restaurant  des  Canards,  Chef   Boutonne.    Reservations  required.     Please  see  advert  on  P.22 1st  December  -­‐  ‘Red  White  &  Blue’  Christmas  Groceries  On  Sale At  Pause!   café,  L’Absie  Christmas  Market.  11am  -­‐   5pm.  See   advert   on  P.21  for  details  and  other  venues. 3rd  December  -­‐  ORFEE’s  Marché  de  Noel At  Salle  des  Spectacles,  Civray.  See  advert  on  P18. 6th  December  -­‐  ‘Keynotes’  Christmas  Carols At  A  La  Bonne  Vie  Restaurant,  Le  Beugnon.    See  advert  on  P.22 7th  December  -­‐  NALA  Christmas  Fair  -­‐  “A  Touch  of  Xmas” At  Chateau  de  Puybelliard,  nr  Chantonnay.  See  advert  on  P.2 8th  December  -­‐  Terves  Xmas  Market For  details,  please  see  P5 19th  December  -­‐  Phoenix  Chorale  Christmas  Concert at  Charroux  church,  7.30pm.

Christmas Carol  services  with  the  English  speaking  Church  in   Poitou-­‐Charentes. The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ  the  Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,     invites   you  to   join   any  of   their   Christmas  Services  below.     All   services  are  in  English  unless  indicated  otherwise.     12th  December:  Cognac  (16)  6.30pm 16th  December:  Civray  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (86)  6.30pm 18th  December:  Parthenay  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (79)  6.30pm 18th  December:  St  Dizant  de  Gua  (17)  6.30pm 19th  December:  Courcelles  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (17)  6.30pm 22nd  December:  Jarnac  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (16)  tba 24th  December:  Alloue  Holy  Communion  and  carols  (16)  6.30pm 25th   December:   Genouillé   Holy  Communion   and   carols   (86)   10.30am • 25th  December:  Jarnac/Courcelles  Holy  Communion  and  carols   (16/17)  10.30am • • • • • • • •

For further   informaion   about   locaion   of   churches   and   about   what   else   is   happening   near   you,   please   take   a   look   at   our   website   www.church-­‐in-­‐france.com   or   contact   us     by   email:   office.goodshepherd@orange.fr.

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   website   for   details   of   meetings   and   spring   programmes  www.thefillingstation.org.uk  or  locally  contact   05  49  87  18  58  or  email:michael.willis@sfr.fr

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

Benet 85490 Lencloître (1st Monday in month) 86140 Lezay 79120 Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 79160 Thouars 79100 Parthenay 79200 Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 Niort 79000 Thouars 79100 Melle 79500 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 Niort 79000 Coulon 79510 Saint-Maixent-l’École 79400 Neuville-de-Poitou 86170

Photo: Lisa Roberts

2nd November  -­‐  Big  Party  with  GPS at  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    See  advert  on  P.24 3rd  November  -­‐  Live  Jazz  &  Sunday  Lunch At  Restaurant  des  Canards,  Chef  Boutonne.  See  advert  on  P.22 4th  November  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Limalonges See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 7th  November  -­‐  Kelly  &  Sue’s  Pampering  Event At  Pause!  café,  L’Absie.    See  advert  on  P.24 7th  November  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Chef  Boutonne See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 13th  November  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Aigre See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 14th  November  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Champniers See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 16th  &  17th  November  -­‐  Hope  Assocation  Charity  Shop  Weekend At  10  rue  Robert  Lapayriere,  87210  Le  Dorat.    See  advert  on  P.8 16th  November  -­‐  Commemoration  of  the  landing  at  Perigné On  the  night  of  November   16/17th,  1943,  one  of  the  RAF  Lysander   aircraft,   flown  by  British   Robin   Hooper,  had  a  turbulent  landing  near   Périgné.     The  ADIF  (Association  of  Deportees,  Internees  and   families   Deux  Sèvres)  commemorate  this  event  on  November  16th  at  11am   in  Périgné  (next  to  the  church)  and  in  Niort  at  4pm  at  the  Monument   to  soldiers  without  uniforms  (at  the  bottom  of  the  Rift).    Please  come   along  for  this  tribute  to  the  French,  Belgian  and  British  resistance. 21st  November  -­‐  Machine  Embroidery  Workshop Workshop   with   Jenny   Wren,   ‘Learn   to   Draw   in   Stitch’   with   a   Christmas   theme.   Afternoon   workshop   at   Pause!   café,   L’Absie.   12.30pm  -­‐  4.30pm.    22€  p/person.  Places  limited,  please  email  Jenny   for  details:  harris4j@hotmail.co.uk. 22nd  &  23rd  November  -­‐  Ladies  Night At  Pause!  Café,  L’Absie.  See  advert  on  P.2 23rd  &  24th  November  -­‐  Open  House  Christmas  Sale at  The  Craft  Cabin,  Melleran.    For  further  details,  please  see  P10 24th  November  -­‐  Classical  Concert At  St.  Maixent  l’école.    For  full  details  please  see  article  on  P.11 27th  November  -­‐  Book  &  Coffee  Morning At   46   Rue   du   Bois   Baudron,   79100   Mauzé   Thoaursais,   10am   -­‐   12.30pm.    All  proceeds  to  go  the  The  Helianthus  Association  animal   charity. 29th  November  -­‐  Concert  with  Mister  Blackjack at  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.  See  advert  on  P.24 30th  November  -­‐  Annual  Christmas  Fayre At  The  Market,  Luché  sur  Brioux.    Please  find  details  on  P.10 30th  November  &  1st  December  -­‐  Open  Day At  Le  Logis,  Cours.    Please  see  advert  on  P.21 30th  November  &  1st  December  -­‐  Salon  de  Mariage 2   day  wedding  event  at  Abbaye  Royale,  St  Jean  d’Angely.   Including     planning  ideas,  catwalk  shows  and  Trade  stands.  Open  from  9am  to   6pm.  Entry  5€  Adults,  Children  go  free. 30th  November  &  1st  December  -­‐  Marché  de  Noël At  Salles  des  Fêtes,  Fenioux.    See  advert  on  P8  for  details.

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2013 Friday 1st  November......... All  Saint’s  Day (Toussaint) Monday  11th  November... Armisice  Day  (Armis9ce  1918) Wednesday  25th  December. Christmas  Day  (Noël)

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY                                                                                              

                                                                         

The Terves Christmas Market

Paperback Jan Books  in  English

Sunday 8th December 2013 Organised by Aidez Association

1st Nov:  Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars  79100.  12pm  -­‐  2pm   3rd  Nov:  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  79160.  2pm  -­‐  4pm   6th  Nov:  Café  Cour  de  Miracle,  Vouvant  85120.  2.30pm  -­‐  4.30pm 7th  Nov:  Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire  79300.  11am  -­‐  1pm 7th  Nov:  Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud  79450.  2pm-­‐5pm 8th  Nov:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferrière-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.  11am  -­‐  4pm 9th  Nov:  Cafe  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole  79400.  10am  -­‐  1pm   13th  Nov:    Les  Jardins  St  Laurent,  Parthenay  79200.  10.30am-­‐12.30pm   13th  Nov:  Le  Don  Jon  Bar,  Moncontour  86330.  2pm  -­‐  4pm   14th  Nov:  Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie  79240.    2pm-­‐  5pm 27th  Nov:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferrière-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.  1pm  -­‐  6pm 28th  Nov:  Le  Relais  des  Deux  Moulins,  Clessé  79350.  4pm  -­‐  6pm 29th  Nov:    Le  P’tit  Bar  Boucard,  Ménigoute  79340.    4pm  -­‐  6pm For  more  info  contact  Jan  on: 06  08  30  73  29  or  email:  paperbackjan@gmail.com

Open Fish 4 Chip Fish, Chips & mushy peas!

6-8pm

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

Mr T’s Friterie

Open 6.30

-9pm

With regular venues at:

                           F    oire         16170  (27th  month) • Aulnay    17470    (from  6pm)  •          Rouillac   • St  Hilaire  de  Villefranche  17770 • Gourville  16170                   • Matha 17160 • St  Jean  d’Angély  17400 + See  www.frying2nite.com  for  details  or  call  06  02  22  44  74

Reel Fish & Chips Traditional English style Fish & Chips

6th Nov The Canteen, Etusson 18H30 - 21H30 8th Nov Bar Tabac, Bouille-Loretz 18H30 - 21H00 9th Nov Bar Vue du Chateau, Bressuire 18H30 - 21H00 20th Nov The Canteen, Etusson 18H30 - 21H00 21st Nov Bar Tabac, St Martin du Sanzay 18H30 - 21H00 22nd Nov Bar Le Chaps, La Chapelle Thireuil18H30 - 21H00 Tel: 06 04 14 23 94 or visit: www.reelfishandchips.net

Supporting Local French Charities

The Aidez  Association,   Promising  yet   another   spectacular   event   for   all.   With   34   Stalls,   Keynotes   booked   to   sing   some   of   our   favourite  Christmas  Carols  and  Father  Christmas  calling  in  at  some   point  during  the  afternoon,  this  year  it  will  be  an  event  not  to  miss. This  is  our  eighth  year  at  Terves  for  which  we  are  very  grateful  to  the   Mayor,  Mr   Dufes,  who  enjoys  and  supports  our   event  each  year.    The   hall   is   booked   and   confirmed   for   Sunday December 8th   and  this   year   we   will   again   open   the   doors   at   11h00 and close at 18h00. We  only  have  a  few  spare  tables   left   (thanks   to   all   who   pre-­‐booked   their   tables   at   our   Summer   Market   and   also   at   the   Christmas   Market  last  December).   If   you   have   any   queries   or   require   any   further  information,  please  do  not  hesitate   to  contact  me. Lin Adams, President Tel: 05 49 64 84 95. Email: Lin.adams1@gmail.com

Combined Services Support by Terri Laverick Group (CSSG) Organization for   the  Beer  Fest   on  19th  October  is  in  full  swing,  and   will  be  a  memory  by  the  time  this  piece  comes  to  be  read.    But,  all   things  considered  we  are  hoping  for  a  large  turnout.     With  British   style   bitter   coming   from   Le   Brewery   in   Normandy,   Bratwurst   sausages  from  a  well   known  supermarket  in  the  UK,  locally  made   chips  and  wine  from  a  local  vineyard,  it  cannot  fail  to  be  a  success.     The  choir  has  been  rehearsing  some  drinking  songs  and  ‘3  +  1’  are   raring  to  go.    The  ladies  of   Aidez  Association  are  making  cakes  and   ensuring  there   will   be   enough   tea  and   coffee,  so   all   tastes   are   covered.    The  ladies  and  gentlemen  who  are   bringing  their  crafts,   books   and   wines   are  looking  forward   to   good   trading  for   those   early   Christmas   presents.     Hopefully,   we   shall   have   lots   more   money   to  add  to   that   ready  to  go  to  SSAFA  France,  to  swell   their   coffers.    I  will  let  you  know  next  month  how  we  got  on.     On  the  11th  November,  some  members  will  be  attending  the  ‘Parc   du  Jardin’  in  Parthenay  for  the  act   of  Remembrance,  while  others   will  go  to  the  ceremonies  held  in  their   own  communes.    CSSG  have   been   asked  to  place  a  wreath   on  the  memorial   in   Parthenay,  and   this  will  be  done  by  Will  Rowe  BEM.     Our   next   meeting   will   be   the   Annual   Group   Meeting   on   14th   December  at  the  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  in  Fenioux  followed  by  a   Christmas  Lunch.    Anyone  interested   in  coming  please  contact  our   Social  Secretary  Pauline  Tonks  by  email  and  she  will   give  you  all   the   details. To  join  us  please  email:  cssgroup@outlook.com  or   come  to  one  of   our   bi-­‐monthly   meetings,   where   you   will   be  warmly   welcomed.     Details   can   be   sought   via   the   email   address  or   at   any  event  our   members  attend.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Hobbies, Clubs & Associations... Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

Cancer Support aims to improve the lives of people affected by Cancer. ---------------------------

Don’t worry alone - Pick up the Phone Contact June Searchfield on 05 49 64 59 96 Email: junesearchfield@gmail.com

We are here to support you and your family

All Girls Together A new  group  formed  for  company,  fun  and  laughter  for  girls  18-­‐80.   Next  meetings  are  13th  and  27th  November  at  Fontenille-­‐Saint-­‐ Martin-­‐d'Entraigues,  79110,  2  -­‐  5pm. Please  ring  Vivien  for  further  information  and  directions   on  05  49  27  51  98 I   am   a   Jewish   man   with   a   non-­‐Jewish   wife   from   the   UK   looking  for  Jewish  people  of  any  nationality  living  in  the  area   of   La   Chataignerie   who   would   like   to   meet   for   tea   and   conversation.    Please  email:  suelauris@hotmail.co.uk

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

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

Le Tallud   Boules   en   bois   are   offering   sessions   every   Wednesday   from   16h   to  18h   from  April  through  to  September     at  the  parc  de  Loisirs,  Le   Tallud.    Everyone  is  welcome  to  come   and   play   or  learn  the   game   of  boules  en  bois.  We   have   all   the   equipment,   just   turn   up   for   half   an   hour   or   more   for   a   bit   of  exercise  and  socialising.   D e t a i l s   f r o m   R o s e m a r y   W i l l i a m s o n   rw.williamson@orange.fr

Alone in  France? We  are  a  group  of  people  living  alone   in  the   L'Absie  area  who  meet   regularly  for  coffee  and  lunches.    We   meet   on  the  1st  and  3rd  Tuesdays  at  11am   for  coffee  at  the  Pause  cafe  in   L'Absie.    Our  lunches  are  at  different  venues  each  month.  There's  a   warm  welcome  if  you'd  like  to  join  us.   More  details  from  Frank  05  49  69  80  47. Open Door Lending Library Over 7000 fiction and non-fiction books and DVDs Open Tuesday and Friday mornings from 10am to midday at 18 rue Pierre Pestureau, Civray (86400) Individual membership 6€, family membership 10€ www.opendoor-civray.com

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

month from 3pm at Christies Tea Room & Bookshop, Gençay, 86160. Take a look at the Book Group page on the website: www.chezchristies.com for more information.

Craft Café  Creatif

Do you   enjoy   knitting   or   sewing,   crochet   or   papercraft,   but   prefer  to  do   it   in  the  company  of  others,  over  a  cup  of  tea  and  a   piece  of  cake?    If  so,  why   not  come  and  join  us  in  L'Absie  for  an   enjoyable   afternoon   with   like-­‐minded   people.   For   further   details   contact   Margaret   on   02   51   69   50   32   or   email   knight.margaret@orange.fr  

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

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

Les Amis Solitaires We are  a  group  of  people  living  alone   in   France.    We  meet  up   for   coffee  mornings   from   11am,   every   2nd   &  4th   Thursday   at   The   Lemon  Tree  in  Sauzé  Vaussais.    More  details  from  Gwen  on   05  49  87  91  79  or  email  gwanshep@gmail.com

The Harmonics Singing   Group.   Based   in   the   Salle  

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

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

A R E Y O U A M O D E L R A I L W A Y ENTHUSIAST? If so, join a group of likeminded modellers who meet on a monthly basis to visit members' layouts and swap information. We are based on the DeuxSevres/Vendee border but also have members in the Vienne and Charente. If you are interested please contact Gerry Riley for more information on 05 49 63 34 01. Secondigny Running Club... Put the bounce back in your step. Join our friendly and supportive running group. All abilities welcome. Email Kelly for more details: kellyencezelle@hotmail.co.uk

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Take a Break... DSM Easy  Crossword Across: 8.   Jewelled  headdress  (5) 9.   A  ray  of  natural  light  (7) 10.   Annoy;  rub  up  the  wrong  way  (7) 11.   Before  (5) 12.   Stick  out  (8) 13.   Spend  money  on  the  high  street  (4) 15.  An   uncomfortable   feeling   on   the     skin  (4) 17.   Eleventh  month  (8) 21.   From   a   definite   past   time   until     now  (5) 22.   Five  more  than  ten  (7) 24  .  Convert  illegally  obtained  money  to     legal  money  (7) 25.   Sways  to  and  fro  (5)

DSM Toughie  Crossword Across: 1.   Party   after   taking   exam   being     complete  fulfilment  (12) 7.   Let   the   dogs   out   after   wild   Huns     swallowed  bad  ale  (7) 9.   Venues  for   the   racing   fraternity   are     in  these  joints,  so  they  say  (5) 10.   Platform  given  for   Middle   East   port     in  trouble  (4) 11.   Cockney   facial   expression   for   clash     of  universities?  (4,4) 12.   One   playing   on  the   street   finds   us     stuck  on  the  wrong  kerb  (6) 14.   Very   keen   to   get   to   Bard’s   forest     ahead  of  Qme  (6) 17.   Obvious  vessel  to  upend?  (8) 19.   Encourage  one  to  have  a  flutter?  (4) 22.   Early  version  had  an  air  leak,  we  are     told?  (5) 23.   Presided  over  a  meeting  about  hard     ice  (7) 24.   Station   to   use   to   change   for     description  of  exhibition  (12)

Quiz-tastic!

Down: 1. Sicilian  volcano  (4) 2.   Public  building  used  for  gambling  (6) 3.   Shockingly  repellent  (7) 4.   Move  upwards  (6) 5.   Incompetent  (5) 6.   Spicy  and  savoury  condiment  (6) 7.   Not  right  (8) 12.   A  light   gym  shoe  with  rubber   sole  and     canvas  top  (8) 14.   Benefits  provided   to  those  in  need  by     a  government  (7) 16.   A  periodic  count  of  the  population  (6) 18.   English  university  city  (6) 19.   An  agent  that  makes  things  white  (6) 20.   Prepared  (5) 23.   Facial  feature  (4)

Down: 1. Solid  noise?  (5) 2.   Sat  awkwardly,  strangely  like  acting     together  in  the  films  (7) 3. Delay  in  execution  of  visit?  (4) 4.   One   offering   new   term   for   exotic   pet     organisation  (7) 5.   A   rope  thrown  into  dramatic  situation     (5) 6.   Act   about   odds   and   evens   brought     into  view  (6) 8.   Humble   carrier   has  nothing  aboard  to     give  to  distinguished  carrier  (4) 12.   Females  common  in  the  wide  south  (6) 13.   Give   authorisation   to   teen   in   concise     literary  organisation  (7) 15.   Roam   around  and   beg   for   change   en     masse  and  sanctions  will  follow!  (7) 16.   Rice  cocktail  for  the  red  Dane  (4) 18.   Formerly   mornings   were   used   for     short  tests?  (5) 20.   After   a   little   time,   much   altered   side     will  come  in  waves  (5) 21.   Is  not  able  to  talk  of  hyprocrisy?  (4)

With thanks  to  M.Morris

Monthly quiz  by  Roland  Scou.....how  many  can  you  get?

1) What  is  the  name  of  Captain  Pugwash’s  ship?

8) Which  English  actor  played  Blofeldt  in  ‘Diamonds  are  Forever’?

2) Who  played  Ena  Sharples  in  ‘Coronation  Street’?

9)  Name  the  only  UK  number  one  hit  by  ‘ The  Scaffold’.

3) Name  the  State  Capital  of  Louisiana  USA.

10) By   what   name   are   the   Dominican   Order   of   Monks   more   commonly  known?

4) In  1974  which  horse  became  the  only  winner   of   the  English  and   Scottish  Grand  Nationals  in  the  same  year? 5)  What  is  the  title  of  Walt  Disney’s  first  feature  length  cartoon  film?

11)  In  which  village  does  Postman  Pat  deliver  the  mail?   12) Which  cocktail  consists  of  Tia  Maria,  Vodka  and  Cola?

6) In  which  film  would   you  hear  the  following  lines?    “It’s  106  miles   to  Chicago.    We’ve  got  a  full  tank  of  gas,  half  a  pack  of  cigarettes,  its   dark  and  we’re  wearing  sunglasses”.

Finally, award   yourself   an   extra  point   if   you   spot   the  connection   between   all   twelve   answers,   assuming   you   have   twelve   correct   answers.

7) Which  was  the  world’s  first  National  Park?

Copyright  RJS  2013. Page 7


THE DEUX-SĂ&#x2C6;VRES MONTHLY

Getting Out & About...

IN D REM

ER

as issue

Place your adverts for the Christm before 15th November! Page 8


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Small Colour Advert only 34€

Go Visit Aunty Mabel! Chez Tante  Mabel   is   a  little  shop   opened   in   79190   Pers  by   Bev   &   Paul  Barker. Stocking   a   varied   supply   of   handmade   soaps,   jewellery,   dolls   houses,  home-­‐made  cakes  and   gift   ideas,  the   shop  is  the  perfect   place  to  visit  to  while  away  a  few  hours.

You can  find  more  information  including  dates,   opening  times  and   brochures   on   the   website.     You   will   always   be   sure   of   a   warm   welcome  at   Chez   Tante   Mabel   -­‐   so   if   you're   passing,   pop   in,   the   kettle  is  always  on! You  can  also  find  Chez   Tante  Mabel  'on  the  road'  with  regular  stalls   at   Chef   Boutonne  and   Lezay  markets.     They  will   also   be   at  many   Christmas  markets  in  the  coming  month  -­‐  a  full  list   can  be  found  on   the  website:  www.cheztantemabel.com

Chez Tante  Mabel  are  proud  to  offer   the  largest  range  of  'The   Dolls   House  Emporium',  houses,  furniture  and  soft  furnishings  anywhere   in  the  South  west  of  France.    Pricing  is  very  reasonable,  with  house   Items   from  only  €2,  houses  from  €78  and   houses   fully  decorated   with  electrics  and  lights  from  €470.    They  can  also  offer  a  complete   'build'  service  of  your  dolls  house,  or   if  you  prefer  to  build  your   own   or   to   make   your   own   dolls-­‐house   furniture,   Bev  &   Paul   have   an   extensive  library  of  books  that  can  be  borrowed  at  any  time. Bev's   passion   is   her   cakes   and   leading   up   to   Christmas   she   is   offering   the   perfect   solution   to   a   dull   winter's   day....to   try  your   hand  at   decorating  your  own   fruit  cake!       You  can  pop  along  to  the   shop   and  spend   an   afternoon  or  evening   at  Chez  Tante   Mabel.     A   four   inch  Fruit   cake   will   be   provided,  with   all  the  necessary  icing,   tools  and   explanation  required.    The  experience  is  'washed   down'   with   some  mulled  wine,  mince  pies  and  loads  of  Christmas  spirit  -­‐   all  for  an  inclusive  price  of  €15. Page 9


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

A Fresh Look for The Market at Luché sur Brioux

The new  look  Market  and  Language  Centre  at  Luché  sur   Brioux   can   now   offer   a   warm,   cosy   interior   with   a   comfortable   nook  beside  the   wood-­‐burning   stove   for   those  cold  winter   days.     Externally  we  also   have  a  new   profile   thanks  to  Sue  Hackney,  who  is  responsible   for   the  wonderful  murals. The  menu  has  been  extended  to   include  sandwiches,   toasties,  paninis  and  homemade  soups.    The  shopping   experience   is   varied   incorporating   the   products   of   more   than   twelve  local   artisans   and   businesses   with   lots  of  festive  goodies  arriving  in  the  run-­‐up  to  Christmas. The  Language  Centre  continues   to   run   French  &  English   language   courses   throughout   the   week,  including  conversation  groups  with   native  speakers  at  only  5€  per  person  with  Cream  Tea. Two  dates  not  to  be  missed  are: • 12th  November,  Craft  Taster  Day • 30th  November  for  the  annual  Christmas  Fayre

The website  www.15luche.com  contains   further  details  of  these   and  all   other  activities,  or   you   can  call   06  98  05   48   79.    Please   note  our  new  opening  times  are:  Tuesday  to  Friday,  10am-­‐5pm.

OPEN HOUSE CHRISTMAS SALE

SAT 23rd  &  SUN  24th  NOVEMBER  11am  -­‐  4pm ELLERYMAY  LA  FLEURISTE  +  LAURA  WALKER  JEWELLERY THE  CRAFT  CABIN  +  THE  MARKET  BOUTIQUE This   two   day   event   at   The   Craft   Cabin   in   Melleran   will   offer   a   selection  of  Christmas  gifts  including:  table   decorations,  poinsettias,   crackers,  door  wreaths,  handmade  cards,  wrapping  paper,  beaded   &   glass   jewellery   and   real   pressed   flower   jewellery,  handcrafted   by   Laura.     Boxed  Christmas  cards  (all  under   5€  a  box),  scarves  and   lots   of  other  great  gift  ideas! For   creative   ones,  there   will   be   Christmas  craft   materials  for   card   making   and   scrap-­‐booking!     Everyone   is   welcome   and   light   refreshments  will  be  offered. We  are  holding  this  event   over   two   days   this   year,   but   please   note   that   The   Market   will   only   be   p r e s e n t   o n   S a t u r d ay   2 3 r d   November   and   Laura   Walker   will   only   be   present   on   Sunday   24th   November.     Ellerymay   la  Fleuriste   &  The  Craft  Cabin  are  present  both   days. The   venue   (Denise   Eyre’s   home   address)   is   situated   on   the   road   b e t w e e n   M e l l e ra n   &   C h e f   Boutonne  (D109),   approx.  1.5   kms   out   of   Melleran   on   the   right   hand   side   going   towards   Chef   Boutonne.    There  will  be  a  sign  at  the  end  of  the  drive.     For   more   details   please   contact   Denise   on   06   75   89   95   55   or   email:  denise.eyre@wanadoo.fr.     Address:  1  route  des  prés  Guillon,   79190  Melleran.  (GPS  Coordinaes:    N  46˚07’18”    W0  ˚01’03”)  

Hope you can make it!

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Come Dine With Dave

A WEEKEND OF MUSIC...

David Burns  arrived   in  France  two  years  ago.    In  that   time   he  has   been   renovating  his   traditional  french   home.    It   has   always  been   his   wish   to   share   his   undoubted   culinary   skills   by   offering   an   exclusive   dining   experience.   He   has   gained   considerable   experience   working   in   the   UK,   Europe   and   the   Middle   East.     Described  by  a  national  newspaper  as  one   of   the  country's  most   promising   Chefs,   he   received   numerous   accolades   including   various   entries  in  the  ‘Good  Food  Guide’  and   1   star   in  Michelin’s   Red  Guide  for  his  French  Classical  food.     David   has   always   wanted   to   promote   excellent   food   with   his   honest  down-­‐to-­‐earth  style,   respecting  the  quality  produce  of  the   region,  and  choosing  to  give  this  exclusive  experiences  ensures  just   that.     The  cost  of   the  dinner   menu  is  29,50€  per   person,  which  includes   an   apéritif,  canapés  and   half   a  bottle  of  good   quality  wine.     Our   next   available  event  will  be   on  Saturday  16th  November  and  early   booking  is  advisable  as  numbers  are  limited. Cookery   Classes/Demonstrations   will   also   be   available   for   small   groups   of   8   people.   This   includes   morning   coffee   on   arrival   followed   by   a   demonstration   in   which   you   are   welcome   to   participate  in   the  preparation   of   lunch   (2   courses  plus  a  glass   of   wine).     So  why  not  get  your  friends  together,  come  along  and  have   some  fun?    All  for  25  Euros. A  typical  late  autumn  menu: • Baked  cod  loin  with  a  herb  crust  and  tomato  chive  butter • Roasted   free  range  chicken   breast,  Cep   mushroom,  tarragon   &   Vermouth • Caramelised  apple  pastry  with  honey  and  calvados  ice  cream • Coffee  and  petit  four  (additional  cost  of  3€) David’s  contact  details  and  location  can  be  found  in  the  advert  below.

In November,   St   Maixent   l’Ecole   hosts   a   weekend   of   unique   concerts  that  may  well  appeal  to  “les  Britanniques  en  France,”  not   least  because  there  will  be  a  rare  chance  to  hear  Sir   John  Stainer’s   ‘The   Crucifixion’   live,   here   in   Deux-­‐Sèvres   on   Sunday   24th   November.     This   much  loved   and  performed  oratorio   of  1887  was   well  received  in  two  concerts   in  May  2012  when  it  was  introduced   to  French  audiences.     So  it  will  receive  a  special  performance  at  the   Temple   in  St  Maixent  l’Ecole  as  part   of   the  weekend   programme.   The   choir   will   be   Via   Musica,   plus   the   four   soloists   from   the   Saturday  concert. On   Saturday   23rd   November,   the   celebrated   organist,   Michel   Milhères,   will   introduce   his   invitées   from   Paris   and   Chauvigny,   Julien   Girard,  tenor  and  organist,  Romain  Jurmande,  baritone  and   harp,  and  Annie  Stamatakis,  soprano.   The   programme   of   music,  ranging  from  the  baroque   to   the   20th   century,  will  of  course   include   Bach  (whom  I  like  to   think  of  as  the   grandfather   of   western   music)   to   Nino   Rota,   the   Italian   film   composer   who   composed   the   music   for   famous   films   by  Fellini,   Visconti,  Zeffirelli   and  Frances  Ford  Coppola.    If  these  are  famous   names  from  the  past,  let  me  jog  your  memory:  he  wrote  the  music   for  The  Godfather  parts  I  &  II.    He  received  an  Oscar  for  that. One   piece   will   no   doubt   require   great   agility   by   the   performers,   two   organists   playing  on   the   same   keyboard   (4  hands   and   feet).   The   music   was   written   by   Gustav   Merkel,   a   pupil   of   Robert   Schumann’s.   And   with   music   by   Louis   Vierne,   the   great   French   organist,  the  concert   should   prove  to  be  a  satisfying  as  well  as   an   entertaining  evening  well  spent  for  the  audience. The  organ  is  of  great  interest  to  musicians.    It  is  a  rare  portable  pipe   organ  by  François  de  la  Brunetière,  which   he  built   to  replicate  the   organ   installed   in   the   church   at   Arrou   in   the   central   region   of   France.    It  will  be  played  at  both  concerts. The  Saturday  concert  starts    at  8.30pm.  Sunday’s  concert  is  at   5pm.   Both  are  timed  to  avoid  the  traditional   French  dinner-­‐time,  which   is  of  course  sacred! Tickets   can   be   obtained   at   Service  Culturel   de  St   Maixent   (Mon-­‐ Thu,  9-­‐12.30  and  1.30-­‐5.30;  Fri,  9-­‐12.30  and  1.30-­‐4.30  (tel  05  49  76   13  77)  service-­‐culturel@saint-­‐maixent-­‐lecole.fr  or  at  the  door. A  pass  for   the   two   concerts   costs   16€,   while   each   is  individually   priced  at   12€.  Reduced  prices  of   10€  are  available   to   groups,  the   unemployed   and   students.   If   you   are  under   15   years   of   age,  it’s   free  for  you! Via  Musica  website:    www.viamusicaniort.sitew.fr Page 11


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Place de  la  Breche,  Niort  1815

by Tony Barrett

Even today   as  I  leave  the  underground  car   park  and  walk  across  the   recently   renovated   manicured   lawns   of   the   ‘Place   de   la   Breche’  (below),  I  can  still  imagine  that  day  nearly  two   hundred  years   ago  when  lines  of  Napoleon’s  finest  light  cavalry  stood  in  stoic  ranks  in   this   very   place.     Their   colourful   braided   uniforms   and   tall   shako’s   plumes   nodding   imperceptibly   as   they   sat   astride   their   beautiful   mounts  awaiting  their  final  order.  

The 7th   Hussars  (7eme  Regiment   de  Hussards)  had  been  formed  at   Compiegne  in  1792  and  had  fought  as  part  of  Napoleon’s  light  cavalry   in  battles  from  Austerlitz  (1805)  to  Waterloo  (1815)  and  were  proud  of   their   reputation   as   being   one   the   finest   Hussar   regiments  in  Napoleon’s  Army.   With  the   final   abdication   of  Napoleon  signed   four   days  after   the  Battle  of   Waterloo,  the   authorities   decided  to  disband  Napoleon’s  army.     Even  from  St   Helena  the  long  grey  coat  and  cocked   hat   still  cast  a   long  shadow  over  France  and  to  keep  so  many  men   under   arms  who   still   idolised   their   ex-­‐Emperor   as   much  as  they  despised   the  king  would  have  been   too  much  of  a  risk.     The  7th   Hussars   was  such   a   regiment.   On  July  24th,  1815  the  Regiment  was  ordered  to  replace  their  tricolour   cockades  with   the   hated  white  Bourbon  cockade,  which   they  did   in   total  silence.    The  authorities,  in   spite  of  the  Regiment’s  submission,   decided   to   disperse   the   7th   Hussars   pending   its   dissolution   and   ordered  them  to  Amboise  to  await   further  orders.    Unknown  to  their   Commanding   Officer,   the   men   had   disobeyed   their   Commanding   Officer  and  had  not  destroyed  the  tricolour  cockades,  but   had   hidden   them  under  the  leather   flap  at  the  rear  of   their  tall  cylindrical  shakos,   which  was  normally  only  pulled  down  over  the  neck  in  wet  weather.   As  the  Regiment  moved  southwards  and  entered  Vienne  the  heavens   opened,  and  the  men  lowered  their  back  peaks  to  stop  the  rainwater   running  down  their  necks,  exposing  the  tricolour  cocades  in  a  strongly   royalist  area,  which  if  noticed  would  have  caused  a  riot.    Immediately,   the  Commanding  Officer  ordered  the  instant  removal  of  the  cockades,   luckily  before  the  townspeople  had  spied  the  offending  items.  

From Amboise  the  Regiment  was  ordered  to  Niort  via  Saint  Maixent  to   await  the  date  of  the  disbandment.   Inspector-­‐General  Mermet,  a  former  soldier  under  Napoleon,  but  had   changed  loyalties  was  chosen  to  perform  the  disbandment  of  the  7th   Hussars,  as  he  was  trusted  by  the   authorities  and  it  was  felt  safer   to   have  a  hero   of   the  old  Empire  perform  the  duty  rather   than  some   court  dandy.   On   December   7th   1815   the   Regiment   arrived   at   Niort,   their   appearance  was  impeccable,  professional  to  the  end  as  they  formed   up  in  a  line  on  the  Place  de  la  Breche  where  Mermet  presently  arrived   to  carry  out  their  final  inspection.   Mermet  was  impressed  at   the  splendid  appearance  of   the  men  and   horses  and   the  condition  of   their   weapons  and  equipment  and  was   heard  to  say  that  it  was  a  crime  to  disband  such  a  unit  as  this.     The   men   sat   astride   their   mounts   with   sabres   drawn   as   was   normal   practice  in  the  presence  of  a  General  Officer,  the  Commanding  Officer   knew  that  when   the   order   was  given  to  return   their   sabres  to  their   scabbards  it  would  be  for  the  last  time,  and   could  not  bring  himself  to   give  the  command.   Handing  the  parade  over  to  a  subordinate  he  looked  away  with  some   emotion   as   the   hussars   sheathed   their   sabres,   which   were   then   collected  and  taken  away  to  be  put   in  store.      Nine  days  later  the  7th   Hussars  horses  were  handed   over  to  the  livestock  market  at  Melle  for   sale  and   on   the   27th   December   1815   the  disbandment   of   the   7th   Regiment  of  Hussars  was  officially  pronounced.   On  the  28th  September  1840  the  7th  Hussars  were  reformed  and  after   seeing  action  in  Algeria  (1854-­‐56),  the  Italian  Campaign  (1859)  and  the   Franco-­‐Prussian  War   (1870)  they  were  garrisoned  in   Niort  in  the   Du   Guesclin  Barracks  in  1892  becoming  known  as  the  7eme  Regiment  de   Hussards  de  Niort.   They  remained  there  until  1919.   A  postcard   dated   1910   (right)   showing   7 th   Hussars   riding   down   ‘Les  grands  Escaliers  du   Square   de   la   Breche   returning   to   the   very   place  the  Regiment  had   been   disbanded   some   ninety  five  years  earlier.   In  just  a  couple  of  years   after   this   photograph   was   taken   the   7th   Hussars   would   find   themselves   in   a   brutal   war   beyond   their   wildest   imagination,   the   bloodbath  that  was  the  1st  World  War.    Gone  would  be  the  flamboyant   uniforms  and  the  horse  as  king  of  the  battlefield.  

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

ARTicles

by Josie Bounds

AD Reinhardt  1913-­‐1947 The   challenge   for   Reinhardt   was   to   build   on   and   take   forward   Kandinsky   and   Mondrian’s   quest   for   artistic   unity.   Reinhardt   pursued   this   goal   through   his   ‘ultimate   paintings’,   nothing   but   subtle   shades   of   black.   ‘Challenging   the   audience   in   a   quasi-­‐ religious  manner:  he   was  directing  their   vision   towards  a  zone  of   sublime,  utter  stasis1. From   the  1950’s  Reinhardt   painted   exclusively   black  pictures,  in   1960,   he   restricted   himself   to   square   formats   and   a   single   compositional  scheme. Reinhardt’s   black   canvases   are   subtle   in   colour   they   reveal   themselves   slowly.   They   are   objects   of   contemplation,   serene   events  of  the  spirit;  elegant  in   their   mystery   they   invite   meditation.     ‘Ad  Reinhardt   is   the  conscience  of   the   twentieth   century  art   world’2.     Reinhardt  was   active  as  an   artist  in   anti   war   and   civil   rights   protests,   this  self   appointed   title  reinforced   Ad  Reinhardt  Abstract  Painting  No5  1962  (Figure  23) Reinhardt’s   manifesto   against   this   period   of   political   and   social   unrest   in  Americas   quest   for   world   domination. Described   as  the  ‘dogmatist   of  abstraction  whose   writings  appear   at   once,   both   clear   and   vague,   cynical   and   contradictory’3.   Ad   Reinhardt’s  writings  on  art  read  like  a  litany  of  negative  aphorisms.   To  understand  Reinhardt’s  esoteric   brand  of  Zen   is  to  understand   that   there   is   no   contradiction   between   many   others.   It   is   also   useful   to   be   aware   that   Reinhardt   once   defined   nirvana   as:   oneness,  nothingness,  all  in   one,  nothing.‘    The  one  standard  in  art   is   oneness   and   fineness,   rightness   and   purity,   abstraction   and   evanescence.     The  one  thing  to  say  about  art  is  it’s  breathlessness,   lifelessness,   deathlessness,   contentlessness,   formlessness,   spacelessness,  and  timelessness.  This  is  always  the  end  of  art’4. Widely  read  as   he  was  Reinhardt  was  aware  of   aspects  of  Eastern   philosophy   and   art,   to   which   he   would   be   particularly   sympathetic5.  Reinhardt  uses  these  Eastern  influences  to  satisfy  his   search   for   an   antidote   to   the   climate   of   Cold   War   America,   a   product  of  the   modern  world.     However   sealed  tight   Reinhardt’s   black  paintings  may  seem,  they  were  not  created  in  a  void.  

STOP PRESS   Unfortunately  due  to  illness  we   have  had  to   cancel  our  plans  for   a  play  this  autumn.    This  is  always  something  that  can  affect   all   amateur  theatre  groups   where  resources  and  people  are  limited   and   that   is   why  I   am   always   canvassing   for   more   volunteers.     Reaction  Theatre  has  a  proud  record  of   producing  some  excellent   plays  and  performances  over  the  years  and  it  is  our  intention  to   do  so  once  again  in  2014. All  is  not  lost  though;  we  will  be  providing  a  Christmas  carol  sing-­‐ a-­‐long  and  short  sketch  show  for  our  regular  supporters.    This  will   include  a  pie   and   pea  supper   and   aperitifs   and  drinks  after   the   show,  more  details  can  be  seen  on  our  website:     As  I  mentioned  last  month,  our   singing  group   ‘The   Keynotes’   have   started   practicing   Christmas   carols   and   songs   in   both   French   and   English.   During   October   we   performed   at   the   Combined   Services  Support  Group’s  Beer  Festival,  which  was  a  great  success   and  raised  lots  of  needed  support   for  SSAFA  (The  Soldier,  Sailors   and  Air  Force  Association.) Dates  for  the  future  include:-­‐     • Saturday   30th   November:   Carols   at   Café   des   Belles   Fleurs,   Fenioux  starting  around  8.30pm • Friday  6th   December:  Carols  at   restaurant   A  La  Bonne  Vie,  Le   Beugnon,  starting  around    8  o'clock.

The Art Scene

Our weekly  Friday  morning  art  group   has  been  working  on  water   colours  and   Pen   &   Wash   during  September   and   October   and   I   have  planned  a  range  of   different  topics  for   the   rest  of  this  year.     If  you  are  interested   in  finding  out  our  plans,  send  me  an   email   and  I  will  forward  a  programme  of  events  to  you. Don’t  forget  our  Alternative  Calendar  Girls  calendar   is  still  for  sale   at  the  following  four  venues  and  would  make  a   great  Christmas   present  for  everyone,  and  is  so  easy  to  pack  and  send  to  the  UK  or   wherever  your  loved  ones   may   be:  Restaurant  A  La  Bonne   Vie  at   Le   Beugnon, Café   des   Belles   Fleurs   at   Fenioux, Pause!   Cafe  at   L’Absie  and  Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle  at  Vouvant. If   you  would   like  to   join   any  or   all   of   our   groups  (promise  you   don’t  have  to  ride  a  bike  or  jump  out  of  a  plane)  then  send  me  an   email  johnblair@btopenworld.com  or  telephone  05.49.63.23.50.

Reinhardt’s attraction   to   the  mystical   side  of  negation  arose  from   his   appreciation   of   Eastern   art   and   religion,  and   the   meditative,   ascetic   quality  of   Zen   Buddhism.  Through   his   old   friend   Thomas   Merton   and   the  seminars   of  D.   T  Suzuki  at  Columbia  University  in   the   early   fifties,   Reinhardt   immersed   himself   in   Zen   Buddhism,   ‘because  it  goes  over  and  over  something  until   it  disappears  6.’  For   Reinhardt   the   process   of   painting   over   and   over   again   was   important   because   in   the   act   of   painting   over   and   over   he   lost   himself  to  get  what  he  describes  as  ‘that   rightness,  no  composition   and   colour   and   expression,   but   invisibility.’     For   Reinhardt,   Mondrian  did  this  7.   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Bell J  (1999)  What  is  Painting?  Representation  and  Modern  Art,  Thames  &  Hudson,  U.K. MOMA  (1991)  “Ad  Reinhardt  and  the  Museum”,  Quarterly  8,  summer,  p.  7. Rosenthal  S  (2007)  Black  Paintings,  Haus  der  Kunst,  Munich,  p.  35. Rose   B   (1975)   Art   as   Art   The   Selected   Writings   of   Ad   Reinhardt   (edited   and   with   introduction  by  Barbara  Rose)  University  of  California  Press,  Los  Angeles. Lippard  L  (1981)  Ad  Reinhardt,  Abrams  Inc,  New  York. “Ad  Absurdum,”  Time,  Jan  11,  1963,  p.  68. Lippard  L  (1981)  Ad  Reinhardt,  Abrams  Inc,  New  York.

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

NaNoWriMo What? National  Novel  Writing  Month  takes  place  every  year  when   thousands  of  wannabe  writers   set  out   to  write   a  novel   of  at   least   50,000  words  between  1  and   30  November,  an   average  of  1,666   per  day.    In   2011   out   of  256,618   participants   worldwide,  36,843   ‘winners’  reached  the  50,000  word  mark  by  30  November. Now,  it  can  be  exhilarating  to  achieve  this.     Writing  that  much  text   is  a  high   physical   achievement   let   alone   a   mental  and   emotional   one.    The  NaNoWriMo   organisation  structures  the  whole  project,   instilling  writer   discipline,  a  sense  of   fun  and   community  and  buzz   throughout  the  month.   However   (and  you  knew  there  was  a  however…),  50,000   words  of   text  does  not  a  novel   make.     Most   agents,  publishers  and   readers   consider  65-­‐70,000  words  as  a  minimum;  50,000  is  a  short-­‐change.   The   other   big   point   is  that   such   fast   writing  will   produce   a   first   draft   and   not   a   finished   novel.  Like   tea,   a  manuscript   needs   to   brew.     Any   professional   writer   will   tell   you   that   the   first   draft   should  go  into  the   drawer  for   at  least  six  weeks  before  you  take  it   out  and   self-­‐edit.  You’ll  be  appalled  at   the  mistakes,  sloppy  writing,   plot  holes  and  banalities  you’ll  find,  trust  me. Can   you   glue  yourself  to  your  keyboard  and  find   1,666  words  every   day   plus   thinking   time   plus   research,   plus   real   life?   Some   professional  novelists  write  500  words  a  day,  some  3,000  a  day  or   more.    Some  spend  time  on  planning  and  research,  others  spend   a   year   or   more   writing.     Be   advised   that   NaNoWriMo   is   not   a   guaranteed  route  to  literary  success.   But   back   to   the   positive.     You’re   not   trying   to   write   the   Great   British   Novel,  you’re   trying  to   have  a  go   at  a   flawed   story  whose   bones   are  good  but  which  needs  fleshing  out   and  moulding.  Put   December   aside,   or   more   practically   January   to   become   NatEdRubbMo  or   ‘National   Edit   Your   Rubbish  Month.’  When  you   come  back  to  it,  then  the  real  work  begins.     If   you  want  to  do  this   novel  writing  thing,   then   you   must   come   to  terms   with   the  fact   that  rewriting  is  an  essential  part  of  it.     Writing  is  when  you  make   the  words.  Editing  is  when  you  make  the  novel. So,   if   you   take   part,   how   do   you   get   the   best   out   of   the   experience? • Aim  for,  but  don’t  despair  if  you  don’t  reach  the  50,000  mark. • Know  that   you  will  have  to  work  for   several  months  afterwards   on  any  text  you  produce. • Interact  with  others  in  the  NaNoWriMo  groups  -­‐  you  may  make   some   wonderful   writing   friends   who   will   encourage   you   now   and  in  the  future. • If  you  get  to  the  end  of   the  month  with  a  manuscript   -­‐   finished   or  not  -­‐   celebrate!  Eat   chocolate,  drink  a  glass  or  two  of   bubbly,   dance  around  the  garden  at  midnight  on  30  November.   NaNoWriMo   is   seen   by   some   as   a   gimmick.     But   that’s   not   necessarily   a   bad   thing.     With   an   artificial   month   deadline   and   50,000   word   count,  writing  a  novel   becomes   a  challenge   with   a   visible  end-­‐point  that   takes  away  a  lot  of  the  fear  from  the  idea  of   trying  to  write  a  book.    Writing  becomes  something  achievable.    As   a  gimmick,  it’s  a  pretty  impressive  one.   Happy  writing! Alison  Morton  writes  alternate  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   wriBng  and  Romans  at  hDp://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  

News from  the  Pays  de  Gâtine!   by Julia Salvat

Knowing your  rights!

Voting at  the  Municipal  and  European  Elections Citizens  of  the  European   Union  living  in   France   can   vote  at   their   local   council   elections  on  23rd  and   30th  March  2014  and  at   the   European  elections  on  25th  May  2014.     However   in  order   to  vote  you  must   put  your  name  down  on   the   specific   electoral   lists  at   your   town   hall  and   you   must   fill   in   the   appropriate   forms   before   31st   December   2013.     An   important   point  to  take  into  account  also  is  that  if  you   put  your  name  down   on   your   local   European  electoral   list   to   vote   here  in  France   you   cannot  then  vote  at  this  election  in  another  country.       Certain  rules  and  conditions  apply  as  for  French  voters  : • You  must  be  18  years  old • You  must  be  a  European  Citizen   • You   must   have   been   living   on   a   permanent   basis   in   your   commune  for  the  past  six  months • You  must  not  have  had   your  right  of  vote  taken  away  from  you   either  in  France  or  in  your  birth  country. Take  with  you   your   passport   and   proof  of  your   address  (a  recent   electricity,  gas  or  telephone  bill  etc). Further   information   can  be   obtained   at  your  town   hall  or  at   the   Préfecture  who   will   also   answer   any  questions  you  may  have  or   you   can   look  at   their   website:  www.service-­‐public.fr (elections-­‐ politiques). You   might   even   be   asked   to   be   a   councillor   but,   without   taking   out   French   nationality,   you   could   never   become   mayor  or  assistant  mayor  of  a  French  commune!

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

One man and his (hunting) dog went to hunt a... by Sue  Burgess

close to  a  house  and  shoot   away  from  it,   provided   that   they  have   a   clear  open  view.    If  there  is  an  ACCA  in  the   town  or  village,  then  it  is   forbidden  to  hunt  within  150  metres  of  a  house.

Like it  or  hate  it,   hunting  (la  chasse)   is  an  important   part   of   French   rural  life.    It  is  an  old  tradition  and  many  people  still  hunt.    King  Louis  XI   had  a  hunting  lodge  at  Missé   near  Thouars  and  the  château  at   Oiron   was  originally  built  as  a  hunting  lodge.

La Chasse  à  Courre  is  hunting  on  horseback  for  animals  like  foxes  and   stags.    There  are  few  Chasse  à  Courre    in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.

This year   the   hunting   season   in   Deux-­‐Sèvres   opened   on   the   8th   September   and   will   close   on   the   28th   February   2014.     In   this   Département,   there   is   no   hunting   on   Tuesdays   except   within   the   framework  of  le  plan  de  chasse.    Hunting  dates  for  some  animals  also   depend  on  the  plan  de  chasse. Hare  hunting  (chasse  au  lièvre)  is  regulated  in  this  way.    It  is  authorised   between  the  20th  September  and  the  8th  December  in  the  following   communes:  Le  Breuil  Bernard,  Chanteloup,  La  Chapelle  Saint  Laurent,   Courlay,  Moncoutant,  Neuil  les  Aubiers,  Pugny,  Clazay  and  Terves. Hunting  for  boar    (sanglier)  must  be  authorised  by  the  prefecture.   The  Fédération  des  Chasseurs  des  Deux-­‐Sèvres  organises  hunting  in   the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.   Their  website  gives  information  about   hunting  and   the  different  dates  for  the  different  species.  They  organise  the  tests  for   the  hunting  permits  (permis  de  chasse). The   number   of   animals   that   can   be   killed   is   fixed   by   the   PMA   (Prélèvement  maximum  autorisé)  and  differs  for  each  type  of  animal.     For  example:  partridge   -­‐  3  per  hunter  per  day  of  hunting,  Boar   -­‐   5  p/ day,  Snipe   -­‐   2   p/day  with   a   maximum   of   6   p/week  and   30  for   the   season.   Hunting  certain   animals   in   the   snow,   when   the   ground   is   covered  is  forbidden.

Saint Hubert  is  the  patron  saint  of  hunters  and  is  celebrated  on  the  3rd   November.    There  are  masses  and  the  churches  are  decorated  with   stuffed  trophies  and  greenery.    Hunting  horn  players  are  often  present,   sonneurs  de  trompe  de  chasse,  with  their  velvet  jackets  and  hard  hats.     It   was  Louis  XI  (the  one   who  had  the   hunting  lodge  in  Missé)  who   decreed  that  Saint  Hubert  should  be  celebrated  in  a  special  way. Vocabulary  /  Vocabulaire  : le  lapin  ...................................... rabbit le  lièvre  ..................................... hare le  perdrix  ..................................

partridge

le faisan  ....................................

pheasant

la bécasset................................

woodcock

le permis  de  chasse  .................

hunting licence

un fusil  de  chasse  ....................

a shotgun

You will  have  all  seen   signs  marked  ACCA.    ACCA  is  the  local   town   hunting  association.    Association   Communale  de  Chasse  Agréée.     If   your   local   ACCA   has   incorporated   your   land   in   its   hunting   grounds,  you  can  apply  for  your  land  to  be  a  réserve  de  chasse  et   faune  -­‐  a  part  of  the  territory  where  hunting  is   not   allowed.    The   ACCA   must   give   over   at   least   10%   of   its   territory   to   réserve   de   chasse.     You   can   also   apply  to   the   prefecture   for   hunting  to   be   forbidden  on  your  land  chasse  interdite. Hunters  cannot  shoot  towards  houses,  railways,  roads  or  pathways,  à   portée  de   fusil    (within   striking  distance).     However,  they  can  stand  

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’

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

La Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny.

Tel: 05  49  70  26  21  ~  Email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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Health, Beauty & Fitness...

2013 Beauty Recommendations... Samantha’s Trends for this Season...

It’s one   of   my  favourite   times   of   the   year,   sure   I   am   upset   to   kiss   goodbye   to   the   summer  sun  but  I  am  secretly  excited  about   wrapping-­‐up  warm  for  winter  too!     With  my   Bridal   season  now   finished,  the  question  on   everybody's  lips  is,  “What's  hot  this  season?” I   have  been  doing  my  usual  research   to   see  what’s   on   trend   this   season  and  all  I  can  see  jumping  out   at  me  is  textures!     From   soft   leathers  to   rich   metallics,   there   seems  to   be   a  fabulous   mixture   and  this  can  been  seen  in  this  season’s  make-­‐up  trends  too.   Metallics   are  a  massive  influence   -­‐   look  out   for   soft   greys,  blues   and   rich  reds  for   this   season's   nail   colours  and   you   can  also   find   beautiful   greys   and   blues   for   the   eyes   too.   For   the   lips   I   recommend  a  high  gloss  to  lift  any  metallic  look  this  season. If  you  need   personal   tips,  please  feel  free  to  email  me  through  my   website:   www.themakeupgirl16.com,   quoting   'Deux-­‐Sèvres   Monthly  Beauty'  and  I  will  come  back  to  you  with  makeup  tips  and   tricks  personally  for  you,  free  of  charge  for  readers.  

Emma says... Autumn makes  for  the  perfect  time  to  change  your   hairstyle  and  colour  and  to  tone  down  those  added   highlights  from  the  sun.     It’s  time  to  get  your  hair   back  into  condition  and  add  some  warmth. New  for  this  season  seems  to  be  hair  accessories.   The   latest   accessories   to   hit   the   market   are   bandos,  which   are   big  alice   bands  with   wire  inside   that   shape   around  your  style.   Bun   bows  are  a  fun   way  to  add  sparkle   or   colour   to  a  quick  up-­‐do,   chignon  or  add  an  applique  hair-­‐band  to  add  some  interest  to  a  down-­‐ style  with   some   curls.  Lots  of   these  accessories  are   bejewelled   in   a   variety  of  colours  to  suit  you. But  the  best  so  far,  that  I  love,  is  the  vintage-­‐inspired  brown  wool  hat.  Rest   assured   no  one  will   notice   your   messy  bad   hair   days   with  this  stylish   chapeau  .  Plus  it  keeps  you  warm  for  these  autumnal  days  to  come. Charente  Hair  &  Make  Up Tel:  05  45  31  56  93  /  06  50  04  37  30   www.charentehairandbridal.com

Small Colour Advert only 34€ Page 16


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Our Furry Friends...

Phoenix Association   rescue   and   re-­‐home   animals   in   need.     Please   visit   our   website:   www.phoenixasso.com  

MAX - 2 year old Border Collie cross

Max is  a  big  softie.  He  is  completely   endearing  and  we  can't  fathom  why   he  has  still  not  been  re-­‐homed.   He's   beautiful,  bright,   loving   and   good   with   other   dogs.   He's   un-­‐ tested  with  cats.

Tina Hatcher

Max is   not   a  barker   but   he   is   a  talker.   He   likes  to  give  you  a  story  in   the  mornings,  which  is  another  of  his   endearing  qualities,  as  well   as  liking  to  put  his  head  on  your   lap.   He'll  do  this  when  it's  thundering,  as  he's  a  bit  of  a  scaredy  cat! Max   is   castrated,   microchipped,   vaccinated   and   de-­‐parasited.   For  more  information,  please  contact  Foster  Carer,  Yvonne  at yyanderson87@gmail.com  or  call  on  06  02  38  20  70.

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

Equine Rescue France

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

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

HOOF is  open  to  anyone  with  an  equine  interest.     You  do  not  need  to  own  a  horse!    We  meet  about  once  a  month   for  talks,  visits  etc.    Interested? Contact Jo Rowe on: 05 49 64 30 59

APPEAL This beautiful  female  cat  is   sterilised   with   a   clean   bill   of   health   and   is   looking   for   a   new   home   after   her   owner  left  her  at  St  Junien  golf  club. If   you’re   interested   in   giving   her   a   good   home   please   contact   Emma,     06  62   13  54  82.  The  cat   is   currently   at   Ventouse   between   St   Cloud   and   Mansle   but   can   be   collected   from   the  golf  club. The   Hope   Association   is  a   non-­‐profit   making  charity   that   raises   funds  to  help  animals  in   need.     Hope   donates  regularly  to   Animal   Rescue   associations   throughout   France,   raising   funds   through   numerous   events   held   throughout   the   year,   so   if   you   fancy   becoming  a  volunteer  and  be  a  member  of  'The  Team',  please   email:    linda.burns4hope@gmail.com For   further  information  and  other   cats  and  dogs  for   adoption  go   to  www.hopeassoc.org.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Expanding our  Role

NALA started  3  years  ago  (doesn't   time  fly?)  as  a  service  for  rehoming   animals.     Since   then  as   we've  grown   older   and   better   informed  (I   wouldn't  say  wiser)  our   role  has   expanded.     This   was   mainly  due  to   the  realisation  that  just  rehoming  animals  is  a  Sisyphean  task  as  there   seems  to  be  an   inexhaustible   supply  of   abandoned/unwanted   cats   and  kittens. The  solution,  of  course,  is  to  reduce  the  supply.    So,  for  a  start,  all  the   animals  that   we  re-­‐home  are  sterilised  or,  if  too  young  at  the  time  of   adoption,  with  the  obligation  for  them  to  be  sterilised  before  a  certain   date.    As  an  experiment  we  have  organised,  in  cooperation  with  a  vet,   a  Sterilisation  Day  when  people  can   have  their  animals  sterilised  at   a   discount.    If  it  works  well,  we  aim  to  repeat  the  exercise  next  year  with   more  vets.   The  Sterilisation  Day  was  fully  subscribed  in  no  time  and  one  of  the participants   asked   if   it   would   be   possible   to   get   a   discount   for   identification  as  well.    The  vet  was  amenable,  so  that  also  became  an   option.  This  is  something  that  we  should  have  thought  of  ourselves,  as   identification  makes  it  easier   to  find  the  owner   of  a  lost  animal  and   makes  abandoning  an  animal  much  harder.   Another  thing  we've  learnt  is  that  it's  not  always  necessary  to  rehouse   an  animal.    Sometimes  people  just  need  a  little  bit  of  help  to  get  them   over   a  rough  patch  and  then  they  can  keep  their  pet.  Of  course,  help   generally  means  money,  so  fundraising  has  become  a  necessity.    The   vast  majority  of  NALA's  income  goes  towards  helping  animals,  mainly   vet   fees  and  medicines  as  well  as  food  and  cat  litter.    Thankfully  there   are  a  number  of  generous   people  who   organise  events  in  order   to   raise  money  for   NALA's   activities.  We  are  very   grateful  to  them  and   encourage   you   to  support  them.     Please   try  to  come  to  the  ‘Taste  of   Christmas’  on  the  7th  of  December  at  the  Chateau  de  Puybelliard  near   Chantonnay  85110.     Another  issue  is  the  indifference  of  the  authorities  towards  the  plight   of  strays.  Too  many  mayors   don't   fulfill   their   reponsibilities.  So  we're   learning  how  to  take  them   on.    It's  an  “interesting”   experience...  on   the  one   hand  there  are  a   lot  of  Sir  Humphreys  out  there  who  try  to   delay  and  deflect,  whilst   on  the   other   there   is   the  Commission   for   access   to   administrative   documents   (*Commission   d’accès   aux   documents  administratifs)  and  also  the  Defender   of  Rights  (Défenseur   des   droits).    Once   we  get   the   facts,  then  we  can  see   the   size  of  the   problem   and   hopefully  we   can   work  with   the   authorities  to  find   a   solution.    But   that's  not  going  to  happen  any  time  soon,  and  at  the   moment  we've  got  cats  and  kittens  that  need  a  new  home... So,  Ladies   and   Gentlemen,   please   allow  me   to  introduce   Danaé...     a   slightly   built   young   lady   of   somewhere   between   18   -­‐   24   months  old.    She  has  an  easy-­‐going   temperament   but   is   cautious   about   other   cats.     Her   natural   habitat   is   on   someone's   knees   where   she   will   accept   to   be   stroked  as  much  as  you  like.    She   is  currently  residing  with  a   foster   family  in  Moutiers-­‐sur-­‐Lay,    85320. For  more   details   please   contact   us   at   06   52   60   08   84   (Nathalie,   English  speaking)  or  by  email:  nala85480@hotmail.com. Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 (NALA 85480). Tel: 07  70  31  54  59

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

Lucky....we hope  so This  gentle   German  Shepherd   was   found   recently   wandering   in   the   commune   of   Civray  and   taken   to   the   local   pound   where   he   was   never   claimed.     We   have   called   him  Lucky,  and   we  hope  he  will   be.     You   deserve   a   more   magnificent   name   like   Prince   or   Star  because  you  are  a  handsome,   loyal   and   gentle   dog   who   was   abandoned   without   a   second   thought.     You  are  not  perfect,  you  are  shy  of  strangers,  but  if  they   are  gentle  and   take  their   time,  you  will  lick  them.    You  are  not   used  to  other  dogs,  but  loved  your  little  playmate  in  the  cell  next   to  yours  and  were  sad  to  see  him  go.      You  are  not  in  the  prime  of   life   and   yes,   your   back   legs   are   weak   and   you   must   take   *medication  to   help  you.  So  who  will   want  you  Lucky,  Prince  or   Star? One   of   our   volunteers   walks   Lucky  every   day  to   build   up   the   strength  in  his  legs.     We  think  he  must  always  have   been  tied  up   because   he   still   pees  like  a  little  girl  and   when   he   gets  excited   and  knows  he  is  going  out,  he  whimpers  like  a  puppy.    He  walks   enthusiastically  but  a  bit  wobbly  on  the  lead,  and  is     friendly  and   gentle   when   he   gets   to   know   you.   Micro-­‐chipped (250269802199968),   vaccinated   including   rabies   so   has   full   Passport.    Not  neutered. *Lucky  has  had   an   X-­‐ray  which  shows   that  he  has  degenerative   problems  in  his   spine  and   has  been   prescribed   Candilat   for   the   remainder   of  his  life.    Orfee  will   help   towards   the   cost   of   this   ongoing  medication  and  we  have  been   assured  that  he  is   in  no   pain   and   will   benefit   from  regular   gentle   daily  exercise.     Once   you  have  met  him  you  will  be  smitten. English  enquiries:   Nicolette  on  05  49  27  26  20   Email:  orfeeinenglish@gmail.com Mary  on  05  49  50  69  41 Email:  orfeeinenglish2@gmail.com     French  enquiries:     Isabelle  on  09  77  48  71  43 Email:  asso.orfee@laposte.net www.orfeeinenglish.canalblog.com

Marché de  Noêl TUESDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2013 Salle des Spectacles (next door to the Mairie) CIVRAY 86400. 9.30am - 4pm Association  Orfée   will   be  running   the   bar   throughout  the   day   and   we   will   be   offering   festive   mulled   wine   and   delicious   home-­‐made  mince  pies  together  with  lots  of  other   mouth-­‐watering  Christmas  yummies!! Come   along   and   meet   us,   have   a   chat,   join  in   the   festive   spirit  and  start   your  Christmas   shopping  early  at  the  indoor   and  outdoor  markets. We   look   forward   to   seeing   you   there,   please   come   and   support  us. WE  CANNOT  DO  IT  ALONE,  WE  NEED  YOUR  HELP Saving  dogs  lives…

Page 18


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

The Great Outdoors... THE AMATEUR GARDENER by Vanda Lawrence

Some time  ago  I  gave  you  a  list  of  good  and  bad  neighbours  in  the   vegetable  garden,  but   I  have  now   found   that  there   are  also  good   and  bad  neighbours  in  the  storage  shed  too!     Apparently   most   produce   emits   something   called   ethylene   gas.     This  is  a  natural,  odourless  gas  which  triggers  the   ripening  process   and   some   fruits/veggies   give   off   more   than   others.     Those   that   don't   give   off   much   ethylene   are   very   sensitive   to   it   and   immediately   start   to   produce   it   themselves   if   they   come   into   contact  with  it.    This  speeds  up  the   ripening  process   which  can  be   good  or  bad  news. The  good  news  is  that  if  you  have  some  under-­‐ripe  fruits  and  don't   want  to  wait   a  few  days   for   them   to   ripen   on  their  own,  you  can   help  things  along  by  putting  them  in  a  closed  brown  paper   bag  to   concentrate  the  ethylene  gas  and  speed  up  ripening.     Alternatively,   put   them   in   the   fruit   bowl   next   to   a   ripe   banana,   for   example,   which  gives  off  high   levels  of   ethylene   gas  -­‐   this   will   also  do   the   trick. On  the  other  hand,  the  bad  news  is  that   you   must  be  careful  which   fruit/veg  you  store  alongside  each  other  in  the  storage  shed,  so  the   following  lists  might  be  useful: Fruits/Vegetables  that  emit  HIGH  levels  of  Ethylene  gas: Apples       Apricots     Avocados Bananas       Cantaloupe   Figs   Honeydew  melons     Kiwi  fruit     Nectarines Papayas       Peaches     Pears Plums       Tomatoes

Fruits/Vegetables that   emit   LOW   levels   and   are   sensitive   to   Ethylene  gas: Asparagas     Broccoli     Brussel  sprouts Cabbage       Carrots     Cauliflower Celery       Cucumber   Eggplant Grapefruit     Green  beans   Lemons Leafy  Greens     Limes     Peas Peppers       Potatoes     Sweet  Potatoes Summer  Squashes     Watermelon So   separate   the  high   gas-­‐yielding  produce  from  the  others   in   the   store   house.     You   can   refrigerate   fruit/veg   to   slow   down   the   ripening   process   but   obviously   this   is   not   practical   in   large   quantities. It   goes  without  saying  that  all   your   produce  needs   to   be  checked   regularly,  to   make  sure  that   the  odd  piece  is   not   spoiling  from   an   unnoticed   bruise  or   blemish,   because  in  only  a  few  days  this  will   damage  its  neighbours.

Page 19


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Life on the Farm...

by Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

I’m sure  many  of  our  readers  appreciate  how  busy  our  life  is  on   the   farm.    With   all  the  livestock,  veggie  plot,  garden,  poly-­‐tunnel   as  well   as   building   houses,   mucking   out,   planting   trees,   cutting   firewood   plus  the  maintenance  to  fences,  outbuildings  etc  etc..... OK,  OK  I  know  I  make  it  sound  tough,  but  for  us  it  has  become  a  way   of  life  which  we   love.    So  it  has  been   a  tough  decision  to   cut  down   our   numbers   slightly  over   winter   (we   do   say  this   every  year   and   every  year  we  fail)  to  give  ourselves  a  bit  of  free  time  or  adjusting  the   work/life  balance  as  they  say.    When  I  broke  my  finger  trying  to  catch   the  last  lamb  we  took  it  as  an  indication  that  it  was  a  good   time  to   slow  down.     For  the  first  time  since  we  started  keeping  animals  we   will  be  without  pigs  over  winter. So,  with  a  few  less  to   look  after   and  no  births  imminent,  the  offer   from  my  son   and  his  girlfriend  to  farm-­‐sit  whilst   we  had  a  few  days   away  was  kindly  accepted.     Ok,  so   we  didn’t  go  far   just  in  case   they   had   any  problems,   but   a  few   days   on   the   coast   was   a   welcome   break,  our  first  together  since  moving  here  in  2010. It   has  surprised   us  that  even  by  reducing  numbers  by  a  few,  it   has   changed  our  mind-­‐set  so  that  we  now  feel  that  we  have   more  time   to  do   a  few  of  the  things   on  our  wish  list.    So  what   have   we   been   doing   to   occupy  ourselves?   Two  years  ago   we  had  a   lot   of   apples   from   our   orchard  but   by  the   time   we  got  round  to  thinking   about   harvesting   them   the   weather   had   the   better   of   us   and   we   missed   out.     Last   year   we  had   very  few  apples   because   of   the   early,   bad   weather.     So   a  

priority this  year   was  to   make  the  most  of  our  apples  instead  of   just   feeding  them  to  the  pigs.    We  have  been  picking  our  apples  and  have   made  two  trips  to   the  apple  press  in  Secondigny  to  produce  juice.     Some   of  which  we  have  taken  unpasteurised  to  make  cider  and   the   rest   is   bottled   for   the   year   ahead.     The   pigs   haven’t   missed   out   because  we  brought   the   pulp  away  as  well.     It   was   great   fun  to  do   because   we   actually   did   most   of   the   work   ourselves   under   the   watchful  eye  of   the  staff.    If   you   are  a  health   and  safety  professional   it  is  probably  not  the  place  to  visit  as  all  the  machinery  is  accessible.     Even   if   you   don’t   have   enough   apples   to   make   up   the   200   kilo   minimum,  it  is  well   worth   clubbing   together  with  a  few  friends  and   enjoying  some  excellent  juice.    We  also  pressed  some  of  the  pears  to   make  juice  and  perry  and  of  course  the  pulp  of  that  went  to  the  pigs   as  well.     A  word  of  warning,  the  pulp  needs  to  be  used  fairly  quickly   or  pigs  will  get  tipsy  as  it  can  start  to  ferment. So,  with  the  kitchen  like  a  mini  brewery  I  thought  I’d  also  make  some   stout.    We  have  also  made  some  summer  fruit  vodka,  rosehip  vodka   and  next  on  the  agenda  is  chilli  vodka. With   three  of   the  pigs  gone  (including  Stinky,  who   we  sold   to   the   abattoir,   but  it’s  still  not   a  good   idea  to  mention  it  as  Jen’s  still   not   forgiven  me!)  we  have  made  some  sausages,  bacon  and  ham  so  our   freezer  is  well  and  truly  stocked  at  the  moment.     We  have  also   been   pickling  onions   and   the  last  of  the   cucumbers,     bottling   tomatoes,   preserving   jams   and   chutneys   and   making   cheese,  Cheshire  this   time.     Unfortunately  goat’s  cheese   all   tastes   the  same  to  me.       Jen’s  also   been   busy  making  soups,  courgette  and   tomato,  spicy  vegetable  and  a  traditional  Halloween  treat,    pumpkin. We   had   Axelle,  a  French   student,  come   to   stay  again  this  year  (we   clearly  didn’t  work  her  hard  enough  last  year   as  she  wanted   to  come   back!).     After   a  few   days  of  watching  Jen  milk  Polly  our  goat,  Axelle   wanted  to  try  and  after  a  couple  more  days  she  insisted  she  could  do   it   by  herself.       Jen  was  feeding  the  other  animals  when  Axelle  came   running  over   saying   “quick   I  have   a  problem!”.     The  problem  was   perfectly  clear,   Polly  had  kicked  the  bucket  and  Axelle  was  wearing   the  milk  -­‐  all  of  it!!    It  was  in  her  hair  and  running  down   her   cheeks   and   all  over   her  clothes.  Luckily  she  found  it   hilarious,  as  did  we  -­‐   shame  we  didn’t  have  a  camera  at  the  ready. Did  I  say  cutting  down  and  no  births  imminent?  Whoops  we  seem  to   have   some  eggs  in  the  incubator,  Dot   the  rabbit   is  pregnant     again   and  I’m  looking  at   buying  a  breeding  pair   of  hares.  ..  oh  well,  that’s   life  on  the  farm.

Peter &  Jenny  Sebborn.  Breeders  of  pigs,  lambs  and  poultry.   La  Gauteliere,  79220,  Pamplie.    Tel:  05  49  28  38  57.

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Page 20


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres A-Z of the Communes of the Deux-Sèvres. by Sue  Burgess COULONGES THOUARSAIS Coulonges  Thouarsais  is   a   small   village  which  stretches  over   17,3km   and  has  443  inhabitants.     The  population  has  been  rising  since  1999.     Surrounded   by   the   communes   of   Luché   Thouarsais,   La   Chapelle   Gaudin  and  Sainte   Gemme,  Coulonges  Thouarsais   is  situated  16km   North   East   of   Bressuire.   The   inhabitants   are   known   as   the   Coulongeois  and  the  Coulongeoises. The   stream   running   from   the   pond   of   De   Juigny   is   the   main   waterway  which  crosses  the  commune.   If   you   are   ever   driving   through   Coulonges   Thouarsais,   it   is   important   to   note   that   vehicles   coming  out  of  roads  on  the  right   have   priority   in   this   village.     So   even   though  you  would   seem  to   be  on  the  main   road  through  the   village,  BE  CAREFUL!   The  origin  of   the  name  Coulonges   comes  from  the  words  ‘colonia’  and  ‘colonica’,  which  indicate  former   Roman   colonies.     In   1080,   the   commune   was   called   Colongia   according  to  a  parchment  in  the  Abbey  of  Saint  Jouin  de  Marnes.   The   market  town  of  Coulonges  was   built  on  the  two  sides  of  an  old   Gallic  Roman  road  which  was  used  until  the  Middle  Ages.   A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • Les  Pierres  Levées  du  Bois  Migou Some  standing  stones  can  still  be  seen  today  -­‐  the  Pierres  Levées  du   Bois  Migou   –   and  even   if   most   Coulongeois  know   that   they  were   erected   and  aligned  using  cattle  and  yokes  in  order   to  plant   vines,   no-­‐one   knows  where   the   stones   came   from  or   why  there   are   so   many  in  such  a  small  space.    La  Pierre  aux  Lièvres  (the  hares'  stone)  is   another  place  of  local  legends. COURLAY Courlay  is   situated   in   the   North   West   of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres,  about   10km   from  Bressuire.    There  are  about   2500  Courlitais  according  to   the  last  census.

A VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • La  Tour  Nivelle  –  school  museum Ernest  Perochon,  one  of  the  most  famous  writers  of  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres,   was  born   on   the   24  February  1885   at   Tyran.     He  was  born   into   a   family  of  protestant   farmers  and,  as  luck  would  have  it,  in   that  same   year,  a  public  school  was  built  in  the  hamlet  of  La  Tour  Nivelle.    Jules   Ferry  had  made  schooling  free,  non-­‐denominational   and  compulsory   in  1881.    Ernest  loved  school  and  the  teachers  soon  realised  that   this   boy  was   particularly  gifted.     He  went   on   to   study  in  Bressuire  and   then  in  the  teacher   training  college  in  Parthenay.    After  three  years  of   study,  at  the  age  of  18,  he  became  a  primary  school  teacher.    His  first   post  was  at   Courlay  and   from  there  he  went  on  to  teach  in  several   different  schools  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.  Ernest  Perochon  began  to  write   poems  in  1908  whilst  teaching  at  St  Paul  en  Gâtine.    In  1920  he  was   awarded   the   Prix   Goncourt   for   one   of   his   novels.     He   stopped   teaching  at  the  age  of  35  to  devote  himself  entirely  to  writing. The   school   at   La   Tour   Nivelle   is   now   a   museum   and   shows   you   what   school   was   like   -­‐   with   blackboard,   desks,   inkwells,   pen   holders   and   well   kept   exercise   books.     You  can  even  put   on  one  of   the   old   school   overalls   and   take   part  in  a  dictation  class. • La  Chapelle  du  quartier  de  la  Plainelière   La   Chapelle  du   quartier   de   la  Plainelière   is   part  of  La   Petite  Eglise.     This  church   was  formed  by  a  group  of  dissidents  after  the  revolution   during  the   reign   of   Napoleon   Bonaparte  in  1801,  when   Napoleon   signed  a  Concordat  to  try  to  put  an  end  to  the  anarchy  in  the  church.     Pope   Pius   VII   authorised   Napoleon   to   nominate   the   bishops   and   archbishops  himself.    La  Petite  Eglise  was  therefore  formed  by  groups   of  people  who  did  not  agree  with  the  changes  in  the   church.    Today   there   are   three   Petites   Eglises   in   Deux-­‐Sèvres;   at   the   Chapel   in   Courlay,   Cirières   and   Montigny.     The   masses   are   held   in   latin   in   chapels  and   last   about   2  hours.  The  Petite  Eglise  celebrates  all   the   religious   festivals   that   were   omitted   from   the   Concordat   and   are   particularly  conscientious   about   following  strict   eating  rules  during   Lent.

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

French Life, Food & Drink...

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French Village Diaries

by Jacqueline  Brown.

I will  be  honest  and  admit  I  would   have   liked   more   sunshine   this   October.   After   such   a   lovely   summer,  the   damp  days  drove  me   nuts   and  I  hope  it   is  not  a  sign   of   what   we  have  to   look   forward   to   this  winter.     In  the  nine  years  we   have   lived   here   many   of   my   autumn   days   have   been   spent   c o l l e c t i n g   wa l n u t s   i n   t h e   sunshine,  laying  them  out   in   crates  to  dry   in   the   sunshine,   can   you   see   a   pattern   emerging   here?   Damp   walnuts  are  not  happy  walnuts,  much  the  same  as  a  damp  me  is   not   a  happy  me.     I  love  everything  about   walnuts;  from  the   size   and   shape   of   the  two   old   trees   we   have   in   the   orchard,  to   the   smell   of   their   leaves   and   of   course   their   delicious   taste   and   versatility  in  the   kitchen.     Even  the  raking  of  the  damp  leaves  on   a   chilly  winters  day  is  good  exercise  for   the  body,  and  the  mind  too,   when  the  air  is  heavy  with  their  fragrance. The  autumn  walnut  harvest   is  one  of  the  last   harvests  of  the   year   for   us   so   it   is   always   a   bit   sad   to   know   the   orchard   season   is   drawing  to  a  close,  but  it  is  a  special  time  too.    In  terms  of  quantity   it  is  our   biggest  harvest  and  has  to  be  the  easiest  one,  especially  as   the  windfalls   don’t  bruise  like  the  fruit,  although  it  can   take  some   scrubbing  to  get  rid  of  the  blackening  of  your  fingers  as   you  battle   to  remove  the  husks.     Some  years  we  have  big   nuts,  some  years   they  are   smaller,   but   there   are   always   more   than   we   can   eat.   Thankfully  once   dry  they  store   well   in   open   trays  in  a  cool,   dark   place  so  we  can  enjoy  them  all  year  round  and  give  them  to  friends   and   family  too.     We  are   also  very  lucky  not   to   have   to   share  our   crop   with   squirrels,  as  despite  seeing  them   when   walking  in   the   woods  outside  of  the  village,  none  have  ventured   into   the  orchard.   Having   grown   up   in   leafy   Surrey   where   the   huge   grey  squirrels   ruled  the   garden,  I  love  to  see  the  little   red  squirrels   here,  but  I’m   quite  happy  they  are  too   shy   to  live  in  the  village.    We  have  only   ever   had   one   problem   with   a  mousey  thief  who  moved   into   the   walnut  store   over  winter,  but   we  soon  sorted  him  out  and  moved   him  on. Walnuts  are   reported  to  be  a  super  food  with  one  portion  of  nuts   (about  14   halves)  providing  your   daily  dose  of  omega-­‐3  fatty  acids   that  may  help  to  lower  blood  pressure  and  prevent  cardiovascular   disease.    Some  of  my  favourite  things  to  make  and  bake  with  the   walnuts   are   pesto,   bread,   coffee   and   walnut   cake,   Christmas   mincemeat  and  walnut  liqueur. Such   is  my  love  of   these  trees  I  have   even  asked   my  husband  to   scatter   my  ashes  under  the  biggest  of  our   walnut  trees  -­‐  a  natural   soil  enhancer  in  a  place  I  would  be  very  happy  to  spend  my  days. For  recipes  please  email  me  at  frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com   or  visit  www.frenchvillagediaries.com  

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The Co-op ~ Good with... Wine by John  Sherwin.

The advantages  of  co-­‐operation  and  teamwork  have   been   recognised   since  prehistoric   times.     Og   was   strong  and  had  a  big  club  but  not  much  between  the   ears.    Ig  was  a  weed   but  knew  where  all  the  tasty   animals  were.     Working  together,  they  put   meat  on   the  rock.     Little  did  Og  and  Ig  realise  that  their  need   for  a  good  T-­‐bone  of  a  Friday  night  (not  that  Fridays   existed   then)   would   lead   to   Friendly   Societies,   Mutual  Organisations,  and  Utopian   Socialism  based   on   voluntary  co-­‐operation.  What  goes  around  comes  around,  as  Ig  would   have  signed. So  I  come  to  the  French  caves  coopératives,  long  seen  (often  rightly)  as   offhand  makers  of  iffy  wine.    But  one  can’t  ignore  organisations  which,   collectively,  account  for  half  the  area  of  French  vineyards  and  half  the   number   of  French  grapegrowers/winemakers.     Yes,  for  some  co-­‐ops   the  image  is  still  of  Pierre,  Gitane  stuck  to  his  lower  lip,  filling  his  20  litre   cubi   by  hose  from  a  concrete  vat   or   stainless  steel   tank,  but   many   more  either   continue   fine   wine-­‐making   practice  or   have  recognised   the  need  to  up  their  game  if  they  are  to  compete  in   terms  of  quality   not   just  price.    I  list  below  some  examples  of  excellent  coopératives,  in   no  particular  order,  but  leaving  the  most  local  to  last. One  of  the  most  highly  renowned  co-­‐ops  is  La  Chablisienne.     Founded   in   1923   and   based   in   the   town   of   Chablis   it   represents   300   grapegrowers.     Of   a  total   4700   ha   in   production   in   the   whole   of   Chablis,  the   co-­‐op   accounts   for   an   impressive   25%.  Importantly,  it   makes  fine  examples  of  all  the  Chablis  appellations  from  Petit  Chablis   through   to   Grand   Cru.     Their   website   (English   available)   is   full   of   interesting  background  www.chablisienne.com. Moving  down  to   the  northern   Rhone,  the  Cave  de  Tain   l’Hermitage   was   founded   in   1933.  It   receives   grapes   from  1000   ha,   producing   Hermitage,  Crozes-­‐Hermitage,  St   Joseph,  Cornas   and   St   Peray.   Also   excellent  Vin  de  Pays,  reds  100%  syrah  full  of  red  berries,  violets  and   spiciness;  whites  100%  marsanne,  fresh   and  floral.     The  website  is   a   little  on  the  commercial  side,  but  this  is  no  bad  thing  as  you  can  shop   online  www.cavedetain.com.   Back  up  to  Alsace,  the  Cave  de  Turckheim  was  founded  in  1955  when  it   brought  together  180  grapegrowers  with  109  ha  –  that’s  an  average  of   0.6  ha  per  grower,  hence  the  need  to  huddle  together!  In  1956  they   produced   1620   hl.  These  days   their   cuverie   holds  80,000   hl   with   2   million  bottles  in  stock.  From  little  acorns…  They  claim  to  still  demand   the   same   quality   from   their   growers   and   the   same   finesse   and   attention   to  detail  from  their   winemaking   team,   and   I   believe  them.     Check  www.cave-­‐turckheim.com.   Perhaps  the  most  impressive  in  terms  of  size  and  area  covered  are  Les   Producteurs  Plaimont,  a   grouping  of   five  co-­‐operatives  in   the  south-­‐ west   with   5300   ha   of   vines   stretching   from   the   Pyrenees   up   into   Gascony   farmed   by   1000   growers.   Fascinating   wines   from   the   appellations  of  St  Mont,  Madiran,  Pacherenc-­‐du-­‐Vic-­‐Bilh  and  Cotes  de   Gascogne.  No   single   installation,  but   eight   shops   in   the   south-­‐west   which  you  can  locate  at  www.plaimont.com  where  you  can  also  shop   online. Last   but   not   least,  the   Cave   du   Haut   Poitou   in   Neuville-­‐de-­‐Poitou   represents  grapegrowers  from  Vienne  and  Deux  Sèvres.  Their  website   at  www.cavehautpoitou.free.fr  isn’t  very  good,  so  I  will  report  in  more   detail  next  month   after   I’ve  visited.  For   the  time  being,  you  can   buy   online  at  www.lesvinsdeneuville.fr.   John Sherwin, French Wine Tours. Tel: 02 51 66 13 05 Email: johnsherwin@orange.fr ~ www.french-wine-tours.com Page 24


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Motoring... Rally Memories

by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright

Back in  the  late   80s  my  winters  were  spent  out  marshalling  on  rally   stages  as  a  member  of  Knutsford  Motor  Club.   We   went   to   the   Welsh   forests,   the   Yorkshire   Forests,   to   special   stages  at   Oulton   Park  and  Chatsworth,  and  anywhere  else   we  were   needed.     It  was  great  fun,  despite  the  freezing  early  morning  starts,   and  are  days  of  which  I  will  always  have  fond  memories.  

For those  unfamiliar  with   Group  B,  the  rules  gave  car  manufacturers   much  greater  scope  to  produce  full  blown   competition  cars  without   the   need   for   a   current   production   model.   Group   B   had   few   restrictions   on   technology   and   design   and   the   number   of   cars   required   for  homologation  to   compete  was  only  200.    Weight   was   kept   as   low   as   possible,   high-­‐tech   materials   were  permitted,  and   there  were  no  restrictions  on  boost,  resulting  in  the  power  output  of   the  winning  cars   increasing   from  250hp   in   1981,  the  year   before   Group   B   rules   were   introduced,  to   there   being   at   least   two   cars   producing  in  excess  of  500  by  1986,  the  final  year  of  Group  B.   The   Group   B   regulations   fostered   some   of   the   quickest,   most   powerful   and   sophisticated   rally  cars  ever   built   and   is   commonly   referred   to  as   the  “golden   era   of   rallying”.    Amongst  these  brutal,   bulky  and  aggressively  designed  cars  was  a  machine  whose  elegant   lines   almost   looked   out   of   place   in   the   harsh   environment   of   the   rallying  world.   Lancia’s  Rally   037   was  designed   in   1980   to   meet   with   the  newly   conceived  Group  B  regulations  due  to  be  implemented  in  1982,  and   in   compliance  with  this,  200   road   going   examples   were   produced   prior   to   the  037s  first   competitive   outing  in  the   1982   World   Rally   Championship  season.  

Vehicle For Sale Adverts. Single: from 15€ Double: from 33€

Although by  then   the   heyday  of   the   Group   B   era   was   over,   the   legendary  Group  B  cars  were  still  being  campaigned  in  those  days  by   private  teams  and  clubman  racers,  and  the   entry  lists  featured  Audi   Quattros,  Manta  400s,  Ford  RS200s,   Metro  6R4s,  and   Peugeot  205   T16s  to  name  but  a  few.  

The car  had  a  mid  engine,  rear  wheel   drive  configuration,  and  was   extremely   lightweight,   thanks   in   part   to   its   polyester   resin   and   fibreglass  body.    With  drivers  Markku  Alen  and  Attilio  Bettega  at   the   wheels   of   the   works   037s,   the   1982   season   was   plagued   with   retirements,  mainly  related   to  gearbox  issues,  but   the  new  car   did   manage  to   achieve  several   wins   including  its  first   win   at   the  Pace   Rally  in  the  UK. While   Bettega   convalesced   after   an   accident,  Walter   Röhrl   joined   Alen   in   the  driver’s   seats   in   1983,  and   after   a  considerably  more   successful  season,  Lancia  took  the   1983  World   Rally  Championship   Constructors  title.  

Contact Helen  at:  helen@stodel.org.

In the  1984  season,  despite  improved  engine  power,  the  rear  wheel   drive  037   was   no  match  for  the  4WD  competition,  and  the  Quattro   in   particular,   and   for   the   last   event   of   the   season   the   037   was   pensioned  off   by  the  works  team  in  favour  of   the  supercharged  and   turbo  charged  4WD  Delta  S4.   Bettega  continued  to  drive  an  037   for  Martini  racing,  and  sadly  lost   his  life  in  the  car  in  1985.   Today   the   Lancia   037   is   a   rare  beast,  and   if  you   should   be  lucky   enough   to   find   one   for   sale,   you   would   expect   to   pay   around   £200,000  for  this  part  of  automotive  history.   I  still  love  rallying,  but  it  just  isn’t  the  same  these  days  ....  

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Communications... Understanding, Using and Extended WiFi at Home - Part3 by Ross  Hendry

Extending your  WiFi  to  other   buildings   around   your   property   is   not   too   complex.  The  optimum  way  would   of   course  be  to  run  an   Ethernet   cable  from   your   router   (LiveBox/Neufbox/etc)   to   the   building(s)  and  connect   this  to  an  internal  hub/switch  for   network   cables  or  WiFi  access  point. If   you   are   in   the   planning   stages   and   have   to   run   services   underground   to   the   building,   I   strongly   recommend   you   incorporate   this  solution.     Cabling   is   more   secure   and   obviously   cheaper   if   you   are  already  committed  to   running  other   cables  or   pipes  to  the  destination  building/s  underground. However,  most  of  us  already  have  power  in  our  outbuildings  and  so   need  another  less  expensive  solution  than  digging  trenches.    In  this   case  I  suggest  using  a  ‘Wireless  Bridge’  between  the  buildings.    The   concept  is  quite  simple,  you  place  a  device  called  a  ‘Wireless  Access   Point’  on   the   outside   of   the   building   that   you   already   have   the   internet  service  in,  connecting  this  to  your  existing  router  via  WiFi   or   preferably   by   cable.     This   Wireless   Access   Point   (the  source)   should   be   on   the   side  of  the  building  facing  the   other   building(s)   where   you   wish   to   have   internet   access.     On   the   destination   building(s)   you   place  another   WiFi   Access   Point,  that  is   preferably   in  sight   of  the  source  Wireless  Access  Point.     You  may  then  take   a   cable   from   this   to   another   router   or   Ethernet   hub/switch   in   the   building  and  this  distributes  the  internet  services  to  your  building. Clearly  this  solution  is  a  little  more  complex  to  set-­‐up  than  a  simple   WiFi   service   but   should   not   be   beyond   the   capabilities   of   more   confident  PC   users.     The  secret  is  to  take   it  one  stage  at  a  time,  get   that   working   then   move   to   the   next   stage,   until   you   have   the   internet  available  where  you  need  it.    You   must,  of  course,  keep  the   service  secure  so  I  would  recommend  setting  up  the  same  type  of   security  as  you  have   on  your  WiFi,  demanding  that  any  device   that   wants  to   connect  to  your   WiFi   has   a  security  code  to  gain  access.   When   I   set-­‐up   this   type  of   network,  I   disable  the  security  until   I   have  the  connections  working  as  I  need  them  to  and  once  they  are,   I  set-­‐up  the  security  and  test  it  to  make  sure  no  one  may  access  the   network  without  having  the  security  code.

The cost?  The   smallest   and   most   powerful   Wireless  Access   Point   cost  around  £100.00  each,  generally  it  is  best  to   have  two  of  these.   My   choice   is   the   Ubiquiti   Networks   PicoStation   M2-­‐HP.   These   devices  give  a   range   of  up  to  500  metres  outdoors  and   are  able  to   provide  very  fast  connections. On  the  receiving  end   you   may  want  or  need  to  use  a  cable  from  the   Wireless  Access  Point  to  another  router  or  Cable  switch/hub  in  the   building,   so   you   should   budget   around   £25   -­‐   £50  for   this   device   plus  around  the  same   if   you   wish  to  provide  a  cabled   network  in   the   building.     Installation   of   this   type   of   network   extension   is   usually   possible   in   a  few   hours   depending  on   the   complexity   of   fitting  the  devices  to  the   outside  of   the  buildings  and  the  level   of   cabling  in  the  destination  building(s). When   providing   a   service   such   as   this   I   survey   the   property   checking   the   topography   of   the   site,   from   information   gleaned   during  this,  a  detailed  quotation  may  be  compiled.

I believe   this   to   be  a   perfect   solution  for   those  of  you   that   have   Gîtes  and  wish  to  provide  internet   access  to  your  guests.    More  and   more  visitors  are  demanding  that  they  have  an  internet  connection   and   those   Gîtes   without   internet   are   getting   less   rentals   than   internet  enabled  ones. If   you   require   this   type   of   WiFi   extension   contact   the   technician   that  looks  after  your  Personal  Computer  needs,  I  am  sure  that  they   will   be   able   to   help   you.     As   ever   if   you   need   any   further   information  please  send  me  an   email  (rs.hendry@gmail.com)  and  I   will  be  pleased  to  advise  you. Ross   Hendry   is   the   proprietor   of  Interface   Consulting  and  Engineering,   who   has   over   42   years   experience   in   Communications,   Computer   Technology   and   Direct   Marketing.   (See   advert   below   for   more   information).

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Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny.

Tel: 05  49  70  26  21  ~  Email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Building & Renovation... Planning Your  Renovation We   are   very   excited   to   introduce   Plan_170,   specialising   in   the   production   of   professional   plans   and   visualisations   to   scale   for   building  and  renovation  projects,  focusing  mainly  on  projects  falling   below  170m2  total  floor  plan,  where  no  architect  is  required. Although,  in  this  circumstance,  an  architect  may  not  be  required,  it   is  still  necessary  to  submit   a  Déclaration  de  Travaux  or  Déclaration   Préalable.     The  requirements  when   submitting   a  Déclaration  have   become   more   in-­‐depth,   complex   and   stringent   necessitating   accurate,  technical   drawings  to   scale   and  photographs   as  well   as   the  written  paperwork  that  goes  with  it!

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Full onsite  survey Professional    AutoCAD  plans  (existing  and  proposed)  to  scale Photographs  collated  and  supplied Concept  plans  for  projects  over  170m2   Layout  plans  for  smaller  projects,  alterations  and  renovations Huge  savings  on  Architect/Project  Management  costs! Please  contact  Scott  for  more  details! Office:    09  66  96  90  47  /  Mobile:  06  80  03  27  56 Email:      patton.scott@orange.fr

This is  where  we  come  in!     We  can   take   care  of   all   of  the  above,   leaving  you  with  just  the  written  application  to  deal  with! A   project   of   over   170m2   total   floor   plan   requires   a   qualified   French-­‐registered   architect   to   prepare   and   submit   a   planning   application.    However,  to   save  on  extremely  valuable  time  and  early   architect   costs,   we   can   do   an   initial   survey   to   get   accurate   measurements,  offer   advice,  discuss  ideas  with   you,  and  put  them   on   paper   ready  for  the  architect,  providing  a  perfect  starting  point   for  them  to  take  over.  Every  architect   works  in  a  different  way,  so   whether  they  choose  to  re-­‐draw  the  plans,  or  use  our  technical  file   to  continue  with,   a  great  amount   of  time  and   costly  architect   fees   will   have   been   saved   just   by  having   clear,   accurate   drawings   to   scale  ready  for  them. Having  20  years  experience  of   AutoCAD  design  within  the  building/ property   industry,   strong   technical   and   practical   knowledge   and   experience  in  hands-­‐on  property  renovation,  we  can  offer  you: Page 28


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THE DEUX-SĂ&#x2C6;VRES MONTHLY

CONTRIBUTIONS.... We are always looking for new contributions for consideration in future issues. Do you have an experience to share? Are you a tradesman with a Top Tip? or perhaps an avid reader who would like to contribute a book review? Whatever it may be, either long or short, we would love to hear from you. You can call Sarah on 05 49 70 26 21 with any ideas, or send them on an email to: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny.

Tel: 05  49  70  26  21  ~  Email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Business, Finance & Property...

HOUSE INSURANCE Your house  is  the  most  expensive  thing  you  own  so  make  sure  it  is  insured  properly! House  insurance  in  France  can  be  different  to  what  you  are  used  to   in  the  UK  so  here  are  the  important  things  you   need  to  know  about   it: 1.

House insurance   is   only   an   obligation   by   law   if   you   are   a   tenant.     It   is   not   obligatory   if   you   are   the   owner   of   the   property. The   minimum  cover   you   can   subscribe   to   is   fire,  storm   and   water  damage   (very  rare  to  be   proposed   this  contract   unless   you  specifically  ask  for  it).    All  the  rest  can   be  optional  so  make   sure  you   check  what   you   are  covered   for   before   you   claim!     For   instance,  cover   for   the   breakage  of  goods  is  usual  in   the   UK,  but  not  in  France  so  you  need  to  ask  for  this  option.

2.

One of  the  bases  for  the  premium  is  the  number  of  rooms  the   property   has.     What   counts   as   rooms   are   bedrooms/living   room/dining  room  and   offices.     Bathrooms,  toilets,  kitchen,   landing,  corridors  etc  are  not  counted,  but   rooms  over   40m2   count  as  2  rooms!

3.

This is   why   it   is   very   important   to   inform   your   insurance   company   of   any  work  you   are   doing   to   your   house.  If   your   original  contract  is  for  3  rooms  and  you  transform  a  barn  or   an   attic  into  new  rooms,  then  those  new  rooms  won't  be  covered   (robbery,  fire,  etc)  unless  you   inform  your  insurance  company.   This  is  the  same  if  you  add  a  conservatory  or  a  swimming  pool.

12. Insurances do   not   cover   if   the   damages   come   from  a  lack  of   maintenance   so   if   you   have   a   decrepit   barn   or   roof   and   it   collapses,  insurances  won't  pay!

4.

Do tell   you   your   insurance   company   if   you   use   part   of   the   house  as   a  business  (gîte,  hairdresser,  nursery,  etc)  for   public   liability.

14. Best to   keep  all   your   receipts  and   photos  of  expensive  items   (even  when  the  guarantee  has  expired)  as  it  will  help   in  case  of   robbery/vandalism   to   prove   the   value   or   even   for   electrical   items  to  prove  that  it  is  less  than  10  years  old.

5.

Don't forget  the  amount  of  the  excess  when  you  have  a  claim   and   check   them   when   you   have   a   quote   as   they   make   a   difference  on  the  price  of  the  premium.

6.

When you  make  a  claim,  it   has  to   be  in  writing.    It  is  France,  we   love  paperwork!

7.

Do check   the   value   of   contents   you   are   insured   for.   This   amount   makes   a   difference   on   your   premium.   If   you   are   insured   for   too  little   and   your   house  burns   down,  you're  not   covered  enough.  But  if  you   are  covered  for   100  000€  and  your   content   is  only  worth  60  000€,  you  would   have  paid   too  much   premium   as   the   expert   will   only  give   you   up   to   what   it   is   worth.

8.

Do not   confuse  the  value   of   the   house   and  the  value   of   the   contents.     Insurance   companies   will   never   ask   you   for   the   value  of  your  house.

9.

Insurances in  France  do  not  cover   robbery  if  the  building  was   locked   with  a  padlock!     Please  ensure  you  change  your  locks  to   proper  ones  or  make  sure  there  is  nothing  valuable  inside.

10. For a  storm  to   be   officially   recognized,   the   wind   must   blow   higher   than   100km/hour   and   loose   garden   furniture   is   not   covered,  so  bring  it  in  if  a  storm   is  coming!    Garden   sheds  are   optional.

11. If you   have   a   secondary   house,   valuable   objects   are   not   covered.     You  also  must  turn  off  the  water  in  winter   and  don't   forget   to   drain   it   as   toilets   can  freeze  and   break  and   would   then  not  be  covered  fully.

13. Loss is  not  covered  so  if  you  lose  your  jewellery  or  your  iPad,   tough  luck!

This is  only  a  summary  of  what  I  think  you  must  look  out  for,  but  if   you  would  like  any  more  information   on  the  complicated  subject  of   house   insurance  please  don't   hesitate  to  contact  me  on  the  details   below.

SPECIAL OFFER...

We currently  have  a  2  months  free  offer  available  until  the  end  of   the  year,  so  why  not  contact  us  for  a  free  quote.    The  offer  is  even   valid   if   your   expiry  date  is  next  year!     Also,  we  have   a  dedicated   bilingual  person  to  deal  with  claims!

BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures, 16700 Ruffec Contact Isabelle Want: Tel: 05 45 31 01 61 Mob: 06 17 30 39 11 Email: isabelle.want@bh-assurances.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

THE 2014 FINANCE BILL e Finance Bill for 2014 is currently making its way through parliament. Households and businesses have every reason to be wary, after being hit by €70 billion of tax hikes over three years. ere is more tax pain to come, with the government aiming to collect an additional €3.4 billion in tax revenue next year (not including the VAT increases). Although the tax rises are much smaller than previous years, this is small consolation for taxpayers living with one of the highest tax burdens in Europe. Households shoulder most of the burden this time.

by Brad Warden, Partner, Blevins Franks

but now applies to remunerations (salaries, bonuses, benefits etc) over €1 million. It will be paid by businesses. Capital gains made on the sale of shares are now taxed at the scale rates of income tax. e Bill proposes a general abatement of 50% on gains where the shares have been owned for between two and eight years. It increases to 65% for shares owned for longer than eight years. As previously announced, the budget also revises the taper relief system for capital gains made on the sale of immoveable property. is applies to sales from 1st September 2013, even though it has not been formally approved.

Here are some of the key elements of the proposed Finance Bill. It may change before it is finalised.

Currently you have to wait 30 years for a property to be free from capital gains tax and social charges. Under the new system, gains will be free from tax after 22 years. You still need to wait 30 years to be exempt from social charges, though the scale has been revised.

After being frozen for two years, the scale rates of income tax will again be indexed to inflation, so the income tax brackets for 2014 (2013 income) will increase slightly.

There is an extra 25% reduction for sales between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014.

e quotient familial ceiling will be reduced from €2,000 to €1,500. is affects around 1.3 million wealthier households. e tax reduction for families with children in secondary or higher education will be abolished. e La Décote tax relief for low income families will increase from €480 to €508.

Don’t pay more tax than you need to. Seek specialist advice on how to lower your tax liabilities in France.

President Hollande’s 75% tax rate (including social contributions and exceptional tax) is back on the table for 2013 and 2014 income,

To keep in touch with the latest developments in the offshore world, check out the latest news on our website www.blevinsfranks.com.

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

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Money Talk...

by Sue Cook

Le Tour  de  Finance  -­‐  Bouvet  Ladubay  Saumur For  those  of   you  who  could  not  attend   our  recent  event  at  Bouvet   Ladubay  I  thought  I  would   share  some  of  the  information  given  on   the  day.

Ask Amanda. October 4th  saw  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group  &   Currencies   Direct   hold   a  Tours   de   Finance   Seminar  at   the   prestigious   sparkling  wine   house  of  Bouvet  Ladubay  near  Saumur.

Many of   us   think   about   using   a   currency   transfer   company   like   Currencies  Direct   when   they  are  buying  or  selling   their   house  but   not   many   consider   how   much   they   could   save   with   regular   transfers.     If  you  have  private  pensions  or  need  to  transfer  monies   regularly   for   mortgage   payments   or   school   fees,   this   service   provided  by  Currencies  Direct  could  be  exactly  what  you  need.

T h e m o r n i n g   c o m p r i s e d   v a r i o u s   presentations   by   industry   experts   and   professionals   followed   by   canapés   and   a   little   fizz   to   allow   delegates   to   speak   to   the   presenters  in  an  informal   environment.     The  following  areas  were   covered:

As the  table   below   shows,  over   a  5  year   period   you   could   save   nearly  €2000  on  your   pension  transfers,  this   extra  money  could  be   used  to  buy  a  new  car,  take  a  holiday  or  just  help  with  day  to   day   living  costs.  

I introduced   a   seminar   and   spoke   about   how   The   Spectrum   IFA   Group  is  set  up,  regulated  and  how  important  regulation   is  for  our   customers.   I  also   explained  our  extensive  coverage  and  capabilities   which  enable  us  to  provide  our  customers  long  term  financial  peace   of  mind. Sue  Cook  of  Currencies  Direct  showed  the  delegates   how  using   a  specialist   foreign  exchange  partner   can   save   you   money.     Michael   Lodhi   explained   that   Currencies   Direct   were   not   just   a   partner   of   The   Spectrum   IFA   Group   but   our   foreign   exchange   provider  of  choice,  due   to  the  excellent  service  they   provide.

No one  likes  to  waste  money  but  few  of  us  consider  how  much  we   are   losing   by   not   taking   5   minutes   to   register   with   Currencies   Direct.     They  process  is  extremely  simple  and  can  be  done  on  line   by  logging  on  to  www.currenciesdirect.com.    Once  registered  the   monthly  transfer  can  be  set  up  by  Direct  Debit  so  your  money  will   be  transferred  each  month  hassle  free. So   if  you  need  any  further  information  about  this  or  would  like  us   to  organise  a  Tour  de  Finance  event  in  your  area  give  me  a  ring.

Michael Lodhi,  CEO  of  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group   covered   clients’   concerns   for   tax   efficiency,   pensions   and   succession   planning.     He   also   highlighted   the   effect   of   inflation   on   essential   expenditure  and  how   important  it  is  to  regularly   review   your   investments   to   ensure   they   are   working   for   you.   Michael   finished   with   an   explanation   of   QROPS  and   the   importance   of   taking   professional   advice  to  see  whether  it  is  correct  for  you. Andrew   Wallace   of   Prudential   emphasised   the   strength   and   history  of  their   brand  throughout   the   world.    He  focused  on  how  financially  secure  they  are   in   their   market,   with   the   AA   (Stable)   rating   from   Standard   and   Poors.     Andrew   also   discussed   their   French   Assurance   Vie   (through   the   Spectrum-­‐IFA   Group)  which   is  fully  tax  compliant  in  France  and  can   be  held  in  Euros  and  Sterling  for  British  Expatriates  living  in  France. Chris   Wanless   of   The   Jupiter   Group   also   discussed   their   financial   strength   and   the   importance   of   client   confidence.   He   explained   that   Jupiter   currently  have   over   33.9   bn   Euros   under   management.     Chris   stated   the   importance   of   ensuring  you   are   dealing  with   a   company   experienced   in   volatile   markets   and   understands   the   need   to   match   your   ‘risk   profile’   to   total   investments  you  hold. Whether  you  want  to  register   for  our  newsletter,  attend  one  of  our   road   shows   or   speak  to   me  directly,  please  contact   me   using   the   details  below   and   I   will   be   glad   to   help.     We   do   not   charge   for   reviews,  reports  or  recommendations  we  provide.

Sue Cook,  Currencies  Direct Tel:  06  89  99  28  89  ~  Email:  sue.c@currenciesdirect.com

Amanda Johnson,  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group.  Tel:  05  49  98  97  46 Email:  amanda.johnson@spectrum-­‐ifa.com

www.spectrum-­‐ifa.com/amanda-­‐johnson

or “Ask Amanda” at finance@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

A Quick Look at the DeuxSèvres Property Market by Trevor  Leggett,  Chief  Executive

This month’s   column   looks   at   the   property   market   in   this   wonderful   department   of  ours.     Getting   reliable   statistics   on   the   state   of   the   market   is   always   like   pulling   teeth,   but   the   figures   below  have  been  taken  from  the  ‘Notaires  de  France’  so  should  be   as  reliable  as  they  get. The  notaires  split  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  into  three  areas: 1.  The  region  in  and  around  Parthenay.    If  you   don’t  know  it,  this  is   an   ancient   and   fortified   town   with   decent   access   to   the   A10   motorway   and   the   airport   in   Poitiers.   The   river   Thouet   is   particularly  pretty  here  and  riverside  property  is   always  popular.     The   town   itself   is  well   worth  exploring   with   fortified   ramparts   and   we   really  like   the   St  Jacques  gate   and  bridge.     Despite   all   this,  the  Notaires  tell   us   that  this   area  has  the  lowest  property   prices  in  the  department  with  a  current  average  of  just  €85,000. 2. The   area  around  Bressuire  has  slightly  higher   prices.     Bressuire   overlooks  the  Dolo   which  is  a  tributary  of  the  river  Argenton  and   its   name  comes  from  the  ancient  words  for  “hill”  and  “fortress”   which   should  give  you  an   idea  of  what  it’s  like.    A  little  further   north  of  Parthenay  it  sits  pretty  much   midway  between  Poitiers   and   Nantes,  with   easy  access   to   both   -­‐   ideal   for   commuting  or   using   either   of  the   airports.     The   average   house  price   here   is   currently  €105,000. 3. Finally,  the   area  in   and  around  Niort   is  where  you   will   find   the   prime   prices   in   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres.   This   is   not   particularly   surprising  as  Niort  itself  has  a  population  of   over  60,000  and  is   a   driving  force  behind  the  local  economy.     It  is   famous  throughout   France  for  being  home  to  all  of  the  major   banks  and  mutuels  and   hosts   the   head   offices   of   MAAF,   MACIF   and   other   financial   institutions.    The  average  house  price  in  this  area  is  €130,000.

End

All three  areas  saw  prices  drop  by  around  1.2%  in  2012/13  and  all   three  have  their  supporters  amongst  our   local  agents.     At   the  last   count   we  had  412  properties  for   sale  throughout   the  department   so  there  is  plenty  to  choose  from  and,  ultimately,  it   will  come  down   to  personal  taste  as  to  which  area  you  like  the  best. If  you   are  interested   in  either  buying  a  house  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  or   putting   your   house   up   for   sale   then   we’d   love   to   hear   from  you.     We’re  also   looking  to   expand   our   network  of   nigh   on   40  agents   covering  Poitou  Charentes  -­‐   if  this  could  be  of  interest  to  you  then   see  www.frenchestateagents.com/pages/recruitment  for  details.

Above: Photo of Parthenay by Penny Brewer

Leggett Immobilier  is  one  of  the  leading  estate  agents  in  France.   You  can  access  all  their  local  property  listings  and  articles  at www.frenchestateagents.com/poitou-­‐charentes-­‐property. Page 38


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The DSM - November 2013  

English language magazine for the French department of the Deux-Sevres (79).

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