Welcome! to Issue 101
of ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine.
As the summer draws to an end, so does the long list of friends and relations who have come to visit. On holiday one has a tendancy to eat, drink and make merry, but when hosting, it can become one long summer of over indulgence and the swimming trunks can start to chafe. Anna becomes a frenetic red coat, leading the activities: croquet, pétanque, badminton. This may sound grander than it is. In reality the croquet pitch is an undulating paddock with molehills, the pétanque ‘pitch’ is our drive and we use a potato for a jack and there is a high chance of standing on a thistle when shuttlecocking. We have a shortlist of excursions we repeat throughout summer. I have been to the Oriental gardens in Maulévrier four times this summer and am there so much, often get mistaken for a gardener. When Anna’s sister and family from Australia came to stay we visited La Rochelle for a day and a night. What a wonderful place, the harbour, the history, the shopping, the street entertainers. With sweltering night-time temperatures and a group of hiphop dancers who set up camp right outside our window it wasn’t the best night’s sleep I have had, but c’est la vie! Our breakfast experience was enhanced watching an eccentric Frenchman attempt to cross the channel on his hover board/bathroom scales live on the TV. So, as the last of our guests depart, bags packed, Panachés drunk, we put the croquet mallets away, the potato jack back in the vegetable rack and we drive to Poitiers-Biard airport for the last time this summer. We have happy memories and some dodgy photos on the ipad to remind us of the summer of 2019. Now the guests have gone, why not put your feet up and enjoy our September issue.
à la prochaine Stephen & Anna
Tel: 05 49 64 21 98 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr
Contents What’s On Getting Out & About Take a Break Clubs & Associations Hobbies Home & Garden Communications Where We Live Food & Drink A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres Motoring Health, Beauty & Fitness Our Furry Friends Building & Renovation Business & Finance Property
This Month’s Advertisers
ABORDimmo Adrian Butterfield (Handyman) Affordable UK Designs (Kitchens & UPVC Double Glazing) AKE Petits Travaux (Builder) All Seasons Cleaning Amanda Johnson - The Spectrum IFA Group Andrew Longman (Plumbing & Heating) Arbes et Abeilles (Plant nursery)
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ARB French Property Ark 79 (Animal Charity Association) Ark 79 Summer Fête Assurances Maucourt (GAN Parthenay) Beaux Villages Immobilier BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want Big 3 Day Book Fair (Hope association) Blevins Franks Financial Management Building & Renovation Services Cabinet Papin Immobilier Car for sale - Ford Focus Ghia Centre Régional - Résistance and Liberté Château du Pont Jarno (Plant nursery) Château L’Orangerie (Chambre d’hôtes) Cherry Picker Hire Chez Lou (Upholstery and Furniture) Chris Bassett Construction Chris Parsons (Plumber/Heating Engineer) Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) CJ Electricité Clare Sweeney Cleaning Clean Sweep Chimney Services Cosmetic Contour Darren Lawrence Discover Yoga European Heritage Days - Ensigné Franglais Deliveries (Transport & Removal Services) Green and Tidy (Gardening Services) Hallmark Electricité Helen Booth (deVere Group) Hiley Location (Groundworks) HMJ (Renovation service) Inter Décor (Tiles and Bathrooms) Irving Location - Digger Hire and Gravel deliveries Jeff’s Metalwork John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic Jon the Carpetman Keith Banks Pool Services La Deuxieme Chance (Decorative paint specialists) Leggett Immobilier Le Lac (Restaurant and Bar) Le Regal’on (Bar and Restaurant) Lisa Pryke (Psychic medium) LPV Technology (IT services) Mark Sabestini - Renovation and Construction Me and Mrs Jones (Property Cleaning and Services) Michael Glover (Plasterer, tiler, renderer)) Michel Barateau (Cabinet Maker) ML Computers Motor Parts Charente Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances Natalie Balderston (Translation services) Needa Hand Services (Grass cutting etc.) Pamela Irving (Holistic Therapist) Pinnacle Garden Care Place de l’inattendu (Health food and well-being centre ) Plombier 85 (Plumbing, Heating, Sanitation) Poitiers Biard Airport Projet Piscine (Swimming Pool solutions) Restaurant des Canards R J Coulson Building Services Rob Berry (Plasterer) Robert Mann (Upholstery) Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) Safe Hands 79 (Garden maintenance) Saugé Vintage Tea Room Short Cuts (Mobile Dog Grooming) Simon the Tiler Smart Moves - Removal company Steve Robin (Plumbing, heating, electrics) Strictly Roofing Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) Sunny Sky Cars (Cars, Motorhomes and Vans wanted) The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre The Fixer - Rick Denton The Hope Association The Perfect Pig Company Tony Wigmore(IT services) Town Renovations Val Assist (Translation Services) Vienne Tree Services Zena Sabestini (Translation service)
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© Anna and Stephen Shaw 2019. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. While care is taken to ensure that articles and features are accurate, Anna and Stephen Shaw accept no liability for reader dissatisfaction. The opinions expressed and experiences shared are given by individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the publisher. Please ensure you verify that the company you are dealing with is a registered trading company in France and/or elsewhere. It is strongly advised to check details of published events with other sources before setting out on long journeys. <<The Deux-Sèvres Monthly>> est édité par Anna and Stephen Shaw 2 Jaunasse, Louin, 79600 Tél: 05 49 64 21 98. Directeur de la publication et rédacteur en chef: Anna and Stephen Shaw. Crédits photos: Anna and Stephen Shaw, Clkr, Shutterstock et Pixabay. Impression: Graficas Piquer SL, 29 Al Mediterraneo, Pol. Ind. San Rafael, 04230, Huércal de Almeria, Espagne. Dépôt légal: septembre 2019 - Tirage: 5000 exemplaires. Siret: 839 041 282 00014 ISSN: 2115-4848 TVA: FR 48 839 041 282
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 3
What’s On... VIDE GRENIERS AND BROCANTES: 1 - Boussais 79600, Luché-Thouarsais 79330, Saint-Maxire 79410, Vausseroux 79420 7 - Chantecorps 79340 8 - Celles-sur-Belle 79370, Clussais-la-Pommeraie 79190, Lezay 79120, Saint-Maixent-l’École 79400 15 - L’Absie 79240, Épannes 79270, Prahecq, Vouillé 79230 22 - Saint-Georges-de-Noisné 79400, Saint-Martin-lès-Melle 79500, Saint-Symphorien 79270, Saivres 79400, Val en Vignes 79290, Viennay 79200 29 - Sciecq 79000, Gournay-Loizé 79110 Every Sunday until end of November – ANIMATIONS NATURE AU LAC DU CÉBRON. Get the family outdoors and discover the fauna and flora of Lac Cébron just north of Lageon. 1 - PAMPLIE VILLAGE FÊTE. Group motorbike ride, visit to dairy, equestrian spectacle, pony rides, photo exhibition and more! 9am to 6pm. Motorbike ride leaving at 9am. 1 - GRAND BOOK SALE in Parthenay. See poster on page 6. 5-8 - VINTAGE MOTORCYCLES TOUR OF POITOU-CHARENTES. Seventy vintage motorcycles (before 1965) will be leaving from l’Abbaye Royale on 5 September at 9am, for a 700km tourist trail in the region. They will return at 12pm on 8 September at Place des époux, Laurent. 6 - DAVID JEAPES EMBARKS ON HIS EPIC ONE MILLION STEP CHALLENGE FROM SAINT PARDOUX. David leaves the Mairie’s office in St. Pardoux to begin his 30 day, 775km walk to the UK. See Page 15 of August’s ‘DSM’ or www.Walkingforviolet.com 6 - NATURE OUTING ‘THE QUEENS OF THE NIGHT’ in Chef Boutonne. From 8pm at the Cultural Centre Place Cail. Discover the mysterious queens of the night - the bats. Starting with an introduction in the hall, followed by a walk in the town finding bat boxes and discovering the different species. Free for all. 6 - 75 YEARS OF LIBERATION OF NIORT. Musical entertainment, exhibition of vehicles and parade from Le Breche to the Donjon with soldiers in period costume. 7 - ARK 79s SUMMER FÊTE AND DUCK RACE. See poster on page 7. 7 - LIVE MUSIC WITH BILLY WHIZZ BAND at Restaurant des Canards, Chef-Boutonne. See page 31 for more details. 7-8 - GO ORGANIC IN CHIZÉ AND PUY DES FOSSES. Man and his Environment is the theme of this event which includes Organic farmers’ market, exhibitions, workshops, conferences, children’s entertainment, meals on site and music. Saturday from 9am to midnight and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. 7-8 - VILLAGE FÊTE in La Chapelle Saint Laurent. Saturday: from 2pm, inter-municipal games, pétanque competitions, hiking, evening meals and pyrotechnics show. Sunday: vide grenier, farmers’ market and entertainment all day. 8 - MELON FAIR in Beceleuf. The 21st edition of this village fair… with vide-grenier, farmers’ market, exhibitors, food, hiking. Free to all.
contact ‘The DSM’ Call Anna Shaw on 05 49 64 21 98 Monday - Thursday: 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm
FIND ‘THE DSM’ AT ONE OF OUR FRIENDLY DISTRIBUTORS THIS MONTH: Markey’s pork ‘n’ pies Traditional British cooking Sat: Fontenay-le-Comte (marché), Vendée and at Saint-Jean-d’Angély (marché intérieur), Charente-Maritime Sun: Aulnay (marché), Charente-Maritime Tel: 05 46 01 54 65 www.markeys-pies.com
4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
13-15 ‘THE CREATIVES’ FAIR in Saint Varent. Includes 80 local exhibitors, traders, artisans, farmers and associations. 14 - WRITING WORKSHOP (SEGORA) with Maggie Butt starting at 10am. To book contact Jocelyn Simms, email@example.com. From 2-5pm, readings from Segora finalists. More info. on page 26. 15 - SEGORA Q AND A. Maggie Butt introduces her publications, interviewed by Harriet Springbett. Jocelyn Simms: Tickling the Dragon, poetry, historical notes, photos (the birth of the nuclear age). Sheila Aldous with Paper Boats, the last invasion on English soil. Starting at 10am. Attendance free. More info. on page 26 or go to www.poetryproseandplays.com 15 - FÊTE DU PAIN in Magné. 20-22 - SALON DE L’HABITAT in Thouars. Exhibition on the themes of purchase, construction and renovation of a house, furnishings and decorations, landscaping and renewable energies. 21-22 - EUROPEAN HERITAGE DAYS. Doors of thousands of monuments and historical sites across Europe are opened, allowing people to enjoy free visits and learn about their shared cultural heritage. See page 8 for more information. 21-22 - THE CHÂTEAU DE LA COMMANDERIE D’ENSIGNE will be celebrating European Heritage Days. Shows and demonstrations take place throughout the day including artists, heritage craftsmen, medieval troupes, storytellers, acrobats, magicians, jugglers, actors and a gourmet market of local products. The event runs from 10am to 6pm. See page 8 for more information. 21-22 - TOUR OF L’ABSIE CHURCH OF NOTRE-DAME AND HER MURALS as part of European Heritage Days. Shows, exhibitions and workshops. Restoration craftsmen and Monster Creation workshop. 22 - TOY AND SCALE MODEL FAIR in La Couronne (south of Angoulême). 8.30am-5pm. Contact 06 81 66 69 85. 26 - ROCKETMAN (Film in English) in the Salle Belle Epine, La Châtaigneraie. Starting at 8pm. For other venues showing films in English see page 43. 27-29 FRANCE HANDIPÊCHE CHAMPIONSHIP in Thouars. This sport fishing championship brings together the 24 best French Handipêche fishermen from the selection of the 2nd National Divisions. With a three-hour race over three days, come and meet the athletes who compete for the title of Champion of France. 28 - THE INTERNATIONAL SOUP COMPETITION in Argentonnay. Celebrating its 10th anniversary. Workshops, competition, tasting and much more! 28-29 - MODEL EXPO in Bressuire. Designers of models: Figurines, architectural, plastic, military and model trains etc. Poster page 6. 28-29 - JAPANIORT. The festival of Japanese arts and imaginary cultures at the ‘Parc des Expos’ in Niort. More information at www. japaniort.org/ Poster on page 7.
what’s COMING UP... 18-20 - October - Hope Association’s Big 3 Day Book Fair in Sauzé-Vaussais. 10am-4pm. Thousands of English and French books, DVDs and CDs for all ages. Bric-a-brac, plants, fish and chips and much, much more. See poster on page 10. 10 November - Craft Fair and Farmers’ Market in Le Retail 79130 from 9am-6pm. Free entry. See poster on page 7.
La Vendée Chippy Weds: ‘Pub Le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges Thurs: ‘La Bohème’, 69 route du lac, Mervent Fri: Bar ‘Le Clemenceau’, Mouilleron-en-Pareds Sat: Last of month : Bar ‘Le Chaps’, La Chapelle Thireuil Tel: 02 44 39 16 73 www.lavendeechippy.com OPEN 6 - 8.30pm
MR T’S FRITERIE Regular venues at: • • • • •
Aulnay 17470 (from 6pm) Ballans 17160 La Chapelle 16140 St Jean d’Angély 17400 Les Essards-Saintes 17250
Tel: 06 02 22 44 74 www.frying4u2nite.com
OPEN 6 .30- 9pm
...september 2019 LOCAL MARKETS
REGULAR EVENTS... EVERY MON & WED 2PM-6PM Duplicate Bridge at Civray. Lessons available free. Contact Marian Green: 05 49 27 14 52 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org EVERY TUES AT 5PM Belote at Café des Sports, L’Absie. EVERY TUES & THURS AM - Annie Sloan Painting Workshops. Please see www.ladeuxiemechance.com EVERY WEDs AT 2PM - 4PM - Charity shop, café and cats at the Funny Farm Cat Rescue, St Germain-de-Longue-Chaume. EVERY WEDS - Franglais Bressuire 8-10pm in term time at the Centre Socio-culturelle. EVERY THURS AT 7PM - Scottish Dancing at Café des Belles Fleurs. EVERY THURS FROM 8PM - Quizwitch Quiz at le Chaudron, 79320 Chantemerle. 2.50€. In aid of Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres. EVERY THURS - Jean David Art Group at L’Absie. For times contact Jean on tel: 06 52 93 33 60. EVERY THURS - Franglais group in Montournais. Contact Penny Homewood 02 51 63 31 21 or email@example.com EVERY FRI AM - Reaction Theatre’s Art Scene meet in Secondigny. Contact Jane Trescothick: firstname.lastname@example.org EVERY FRI 6PM-7.30PM - Line Dancing at Café des Belles Fleurs, Fenioux. Contact: email@example.com or 05 49 10 37 80. EVERY SUN 2PM-5PM - Chats de Châtillon Adoption/Visiting afternoon. All other times tel: 06 85 63 55 94 EVERY OTHER THURS AT 6.30PM - Franglais Group at Le Clemenceau, Mouilleron-en-Pareds. 2nd Tues of Month AT 8PM - Quiz Night at Le Regal’On, Allonne. 3RD WEDS of month AT 7.30PM - Team Quiz. At Le Clemenceau Bar, Mouilleron-en-Pareds, in aid of animal charities. 3RD WEDS OF MONTH AT 3PM Franglais Group at Café Pause!, L’Absie. Last FRI of month - Books, CDs, DVDs etc. sale. Chez Sue and Stuart Marshall, 12 rue du Bourg Chasteigner, Cheffois, in aid of animal charities (2pm-5pm) tel: 02 51 51 00 96.
Benet 85490 La Châtaigneraie 85120 Lencloître (1st Monday in month) 86140 Tuesdays......... Lezay 79120 Civray 86400 Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 79160 Thouars 79100 - and - Bressuire 79300 Vasles 79340 Wednesdays.... Parthenay 79200 - and - Celles-sur-Belle 79370 Ruffec 16700 Thursdays........ Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 - and - Niort 79000 La Mothe St Héray 79800 Gençay 86160 Friday............... Thouars 79100 - and - Melle 79500 Secondigny 79130 (pm)-and-St Aubin le Cloud (pm) Civray 86400 (small food market) Saturdays........ Bressuire 79300 - and - Champdeniers 79220 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 - and - Niort 79000 Saint Maixent-l’École 79400 Fontenay-le-Comte 85200 Ruffec 16700 Magné 79460 and Moncoutant 79320 Sundays............ Coulon 79510 - and - Neuville-de-Poitou 86170 Thénezay 79390 Saint-Varent 79330 Saint-Loup-Lamairé 79600
The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2019
6 October 31st October 1st November 11th November 25th December th
The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes, holds English speaking services. www.church-in-france.com
Grandfather’s Day (Fête des Grands-Pères) Halloween All Saints’ Day (Toussaint) Armistice Day (Armistice) Christmas Day (Noël)
The Filling Station - Poitou-Charentes. Local Christians of all denominations who meet for spiritual renewal and evangelism. www. thefillingstationfrance.com or Carolyn Carter on 05 45 84 19 03. ALL SAINTS, VENDÉE - Puy de Serre. We hold two services each month (+ Sunday school), on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St. Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11am. www.allsaintsvendee.fr
(Dates in bold=Public holidays)
The Rendez-Vous Christian Fellowship hold meetings throughout the month in the Deux-Sèvres and the Vendée. Contact Chris & Julie Taylor 09 60 49 78 50 or visit: www.therendezvous.fr
21-22 September TOP HAT QUIZ Nights 1: 5: 9: 11:
Limalonges Chef Boutonne Theil Rabier Aigre
Tel: 05 45 71 70 91 www.tophatquizzes.com FROM 7pm
The English Speaking Church of the Valley of the Loire (ESCOVAL) meets at the R.C. Church in Arçay every 3rd Sunday of the month at 11.00am (just off the D759, Thouars to Loudun).
FISH 4 CHIP & AUTHENTIC INDIAN MEALS Mon: Charroux Tues: Sauzé-Vaussais (main square) Weds: Chef Boutonne (near château) Thurs: Sauzé-Vaussais - Eve (main square) Fri: Ruffec (Baobab car park)
EMERGENCY NUMBERS: 15 17 18 12 113
SAMU (Medical Advice) Gendarmes (Police) Pompiers (Fire Service) European Emergency Drugs and Alcohol
Tel: 06 37 53 56 20 www.mobilefishandchipsfrance.com
OPEN 6 - 8.30pm
Visit each website for further information or to confirm venue and dates The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 5
Getting Out & About Chez Christie’s BEAUTIFUL GIFTS & CARDS Masses of Quality Gifts for Family, Friends, The Home … and for You ! Stunning Cards for All Occasions !
DELICIOUS HOME-BAKING Cream Teas, Cupcakes, Brownies, Bakewell Tart, Rich Fruit Cake … Home-Made Lemonade & Iced Tea
ENGLISH BOOKS from only 0,50 € INTERNET ACCESS & PRINTING Thousands of --and Books & Hundreds of Beautiful Cards Online : AMAZON.CO.UK / SHOPS / CHRISTIESGENCAY www.CHEZCHRISTIES.com 05.49.50.61.94 GENÇAY (86) - behind the Mairie
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Cover photo is of the Oriental Park of Maulévrier. Between 1899 and 1913, architect Alexandre Marcel, at the request of its owner M. Bergére (a Cholet industrialist) restored the interior of Château Colbert (Maulévrier) and arranged the surrounding landscape. He gradually developed what has become the Oriental Park. He installed a pond, fed by the river (La Moine) and planted many exotic plants. The town council of Maulévrier bought the park in 1980 which is now recognised as the biggest Japanese inspired park in Europe. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 7
View from the Vendée by Karen Taylor
t’s interesting - when we lived in the UK we’d never even heard of the European Heritage Days, but since we moved to France we’ve discovered that, as its name suggests, several days are set aside each year throughout Europe for people to discover a little more about their country’s heritage. The annual programme offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. It aims to widen access and foster care for architectural and environmental heritage. This year, the dates for the Journées du Patrimoine in France are the 21 and 22 September; throughout the whole country, thousands of historic buildings and monuments are open to the public free of charge. The idea is to give people a taster of the many places of interest that they can visit during the year. You know how you always say ‘We must go and visit this or that place sometime’, but sometime never comes? Well, here’s your chance you don’t have to book, or pay, or even stay for longer than a few minutes if you don’t want to (!), but give it a try - you never know, you might even find your inner historian…
One of our favourites in the Vendée is l’Historial de la Vendée in Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne, just north of La Roche-sur-Yon. Basically it’s a museum tracing the history of the Vendée from prehistoric times to the beginning of the 21st century, but they really do make an effort to bring the history to life.
Another one of my favourites (though David’s not too impressed!) is le Haras de la Vendée in La Roche-sur-Yon. If you’re interested in horses, this is the place for you - they breed and train magnificent horses, and during the heritage days you can wander round the stables then enjoy various equestrian displays. To find out what’s going on around you that weekend, check out the following website: www.journees-dup at r i m o i n e . co m / D E PA R T E M E N T/ journees-patrimoine85-vendee.htm Or perhaps it’s your chance to look around that château just down the road that you’ve been meaning to visit for ages - you may even discover, as we did, the origins of the chimney pot! (see photo). Photo: The Château de la Brunière in Le Givre, with its distinctive pot de beurre chimney, is privately owned and only accessible during the Journées du Patrimoine.
Karen runs a gîte business near the Vendée coast at:
The Château de La Commanderie d’Ensigné 79 will be celebrating:
European heritage days On the 21 and 22 September 2019
Ensigné celebrates its heritage at the Château de La Commanderie. The event runs from 10am to 6pm. There will be plenty of activities, events and entertainment for everyone: In the inner courtyard, around the castle and the Templar chapel, shows, events and demonstrations take place throughout the day: artists and heritage craftsmen, medieval troupes, storytellers, acrobats, magicians, jugglers, actors. There will also be a gourmet market of quality local products. Medieval workshops and games for young and old. Visit the medieval towers at the old dungeon on registration at the entrance (groups limited to 15 people). Taverne des brigands and Auberge des Chevaliers to eat. Reservation possible on 06 60 65 81 58 Ensigné is located on the wooded walk of the forest of Aulnay, between Brioux (79) and Aulnay-de-Saintonge (17). The Château de la Commanderie is at the entrance of the village on the Arsange road. Entry fee 4€ per adult, children free (up to 12 years) Guided tour + 1€ (English spoken)
8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
la rentrée by Sue Burgess
he kids don’t seem to have been on holiday long and there are already large colourful signs in the shops La Rentrée (back to school). The supermarket aisles are rearranged and several have been taken over by fournitures scolaires (school equipment). All the three school zones go back to school on the same date after the long summer holidays. This year the back to school date is Monday 2 September. Generally all infant and primary school classes go back on this day, but secondary schools may let new first year pupils (6ème or 2nde) start a day earlier so that they can get used to their new surroundings and find their way around. At some time during the holidays, families will have received the liste de fournitures (school equipment list) for the new school year. L’allocation de rentrée scolaire (ARS), the Back to School Allowance is given to families who have one or more children aged between six and 18 who are in full-time education, if their income is not above a certain limit. The allowance is to help the families buy everything the children need for school and its amount depends on the age of the child, the allowance for primary school children being lower than that for high school pupils. La Rentrée brings with it the inevitable debate about the weight of children’s satchels cartable and the effects on their health. An average satchel weighing 8.5 kilos, it’s not surprising that many now opt for satchels on wheels. The period of La Rentrée is generally associated with everything (whether it be education, business or politics) getting going again after the slower, lazy summer holidays grandes vacances. La Rentrée Littéraire is the name given to the publishing boom and the numerous new books that are published and put onto the market between August and November. Several literature prizes are voted between September and November, notably the Goncourt prize. BONNE RENTREE !
Vocabulaire / Vocabulary: les fournitures scolaires ..............
un cahier 96 pages
des feuillets mobiles perforés ..... sheets of paper to go in a ring binder un classeur rigide ........................ hard backed ring binder un stylo à bille ............................. biro un crayon à papier ...................... pencil un feutre de couleur...................... felt tip pen un bâton de colle.......................... stick of glue un rouleau de ruban adhésif........ roll of sellotape une gomme................................. eraser, rubber un cartable.................................. school bag, satchel l’école maternelle........................ infant school l’école primaire............................ primary school le collège....................................
11-15 secondary school
le lycée........................................ sixth form The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 9
A Writer’s Retreat
by Chris Danson
hope association helping animals in need
big 3 day book fair
come to Deux-Sèvres every year. My wife’s parents live near Chef Boutonne, and we’re lucky to be able to bring our young family over each summer to enjoy the stunning scenery, fantastic weather and relaxed French way of life. This year, however, has been a little different. I’m working on the sequel to my crime novel Dead in 10 (Arcachon Press, 2017), and while my wife is on maternity leave we thought there was no better time to come over and experience what it would be like to really live in France. We’d have more time to spend with the kids, and I’d have a quiet but stimulating environment to write in.
18th, 19th & 20th october 2019 • 10 am - 4pm
hope shop 79, 17 route de civray 79190 sauzé-vaussais
After staying with the in-laws for a week in April, we moved into our rental house, a beautiful longère with a large lawn and pool. Needless to say, the kids have been in their element, and have loved the freedom and space that we don’t have in Hertfordshire. In between the writing, my wife and I have explored most of the baby and toddler groups in the area (yes, they are there if you seek them out!), and have made new friends and acquaintances via these groups in Melle, Sauzé-Vaussais and Civray. Everyone has been friendly and welcoming, and our children have loved playing with new friends and enjoying sessions where learning through play seems to be the order of the day. We’ve been here long enough to experience the ups and downs of domestic life, from power cuts to plumbing issues and dealing with a flat car battery on the hottest day of the year so far (thanks to the kind staff at Intermarché in Chef Boutonne for helping us out!). All have been a great test of our French language skills, and everyone has been tolerant and patient with our rusty vocabulary. There’s a real community feel here, and we’ve been struck by the degree to which the British and French are integrated in local life. We’ve enjoyed the lovely bar run by the residents of the village we’ve been staying in, and events like Clac Fess at Château de Javarzay in Chef Boutonne and the Festival du Mellaran have been great family events that our children have loved. For a writer and reader, there’s a host of unexpected pleasures to discover. I’ve been impressed by the quality of the modern, wellresourced libraries in the area: Sauzé-Vaussais and Niort come to mind. I’ve also enjoyed picking up some great second-hand books at the HOPE Association book fair, and most weeks I’ve spent a few hours writing on my laptop in the Café du Boulevard or Hôtel les Glycines in Melle. There’s some excellent little bookshops out there too, including the delightful Librairie le Matoulu in Melle that I chanced upon, and Librairie des Halles in Niort (both have great kids’ sections, too). The novel I’m working on is set in New York, and is darker in tone than Dead in 10. There couldn’t be a greater contrast between the gritty street scenes I’m inventing for my characters and the rolling, green countryside of DeuxSèvres I’m often looking out over - but that’s what makes fiction writing such an irresistible challenge. Chris worked in digital publishing for many years, including a decade at The Guardian newspaper and stints at HarperCollins and the advertising group WPP. You can find out more about him at www.chrisdanson.com. His novel Dead in 10 is available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.
10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
note that we are open for books only thousands of english & french from 2pm to 4pm on thursday books, dvds & cds for all ages • bric à 17th for people with brac • pre-loved clothes • animal welfare restricted mobility
associations • artisan market stalls • Eddie’s cards • Mary’s plants • hope café & burger bar • Pois Chic • Mr T’s fish & chips & much more !
hope charity shops
hope 16 le four à chaux, la tulette 16500 ansac-sur-vienne hope 79 17 route de civray 79190 sauzé-vaussais hope 87 11 avenue de la paix 87120 eymoutiers
by Clive Greenwood
hen you see these two three letter words, embraced by speech marks, do you know instantly to whom I am referring? If you are, say, over 50 and grew up in Britain, I expect that you do. However, if you are in a younger bracket, or were born outside the United Kingdom, “The Few” may mean nothing to you. Therefore, for the benefit of all, I shall explain.
When I return to England, I always make a pilgrimage to the Battle of Britain Memorial on the chalk cliffs between Dover and Folkestone at Capel-Le-Ferne. There is a large sculpture of a typical, fully-kitted airman, sitting on a knoll, looking out to sea. He is at readiness to 'scramble' and take to the air. Behind him is a wall, inscribed with the names of all 2927 men.
Come back with me to 20 August 1940. At the height of the Battle of Britain, Prime Minister Churchill went to the Royal Air Force command bunker at Uxbridge, where the stoic Scot, Sir Hugh Dowding, the Air Chief Marshal in charge of Fighter Command, was manipulating his defences against waves of German bombers.
Where did these youngsters come from? Predominately they were British, serving mostly in the RAF, some in The Fleet Air Arm. However, a total of 574 (101 of whom lost their lives) were from other countries, most notably Poland (141), New Zealand (127), Canada (112) and Czechoslovakia (84). There were even ten Irishmen from the USA, volunteers willing to risk their lives to defeat the tyranny of inhuman Nazism.
Churchill asked Dowding “How many reserves have you?” “None, Prime Minister” was the most humble and dour man's terse reply. When Churchill left he climbed into his official car with his military secretary, General Hastings 'Pug' Ismay. Churchill said “Don't speak to me. I have never been so moved.” After five minutes he leaned forward and said “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.” You have probably heard this before, perhaps many times. Churchill was extolling the relative handful of men who stopped the Luftwaffe from controlling the skies over the Channel and southern England and thus preventing Hitler's planned invasion, Operation Sea Lion. These were the first brave steps to saving European civilisation from the savagery, brutality and hideous racism of Nazi Germany. So who were “The Few”? Official historians finally agreed that the Battle of Britain raged from 10 July to 31 October 1940. Down the years records were meticulously combed until 2927 airmen were named who had taken part in The Battle, of whom 537 died in action or from their wounds. You may think that all the aircrew were pilots, throwing their Hawker Hurricanes or Supermarine Spitfires around the skies, but this is not so. A variety of other British aircraft were engaged, including two-seaters like the Boulton Paul Defiant, the Bristol Blenheim and the Bristol Beaufighter, though their role was indeed small.
The point of writing this now is that only six of these 'boys' are still with us, their ages ranging rom 98 to 102. I use the word 'boys' because that is what they were when they were defending Britain's skies. The youngest of “The Few”, the celebrated Geoffrey Wellum, 18 and not long out of school, died aged 96 in summer 2018. Boys just like the young we have been remembering, in June 2019, landing on the D-Day beaches. Did you see on your TV news, the two boys of 95, who parachuted in behind enemy lines 75 years ago, jumping again this year from an ancient Dakota? In the next years, the numbers of D-Day veterans will be whittled down and believe me, the news channels will record the passing of the last few survivors of this unprecedented epic military operation. Do you recall the last survivors of the First World War? During the early years of this century several of them became national celebrities, not only for their longevity but for their dignity and wisdom in great old age. A Somerset man, Harry Patch, who survived Passchendaele, was known as 'The Last Fighting Tommy'. By the time he died in 2009 at the age of 111, he was a celebrity, with the Gaymer Cider Company producing Patch's Pride Cider! I shall try to keep you updated about the last six survivors of “The Few”. I wonder if they will achieve national celebrity in their final years? Do look out for them and thank them from your heart for their part in delivering Europe from tyranny, and helping to give you and me the peace and prosperity we enjoy in the democratic nations of the European Union. Battle of Britain Day is commemorated each year on 20 September.
Main photo: The Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-le-Ferne ©wikicommons/User:(wt-shared) Travelmech at wts wiki voyage
Inset photo: The Polish Air Force in the Battle of Britain ©wikicommons/Royal Air Force official photographer. Devon S A (Mr)
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 11
Coming to a hedgerow near you? Japanese knotweed
hen we first moved to the area, I was amazed by how much Japanese knotweed was growing along the hedgerows. Being an enthusiastic gardener and regular viewer of Gardeners' World I knew a little about this highly invasive plant. A keen gardener friend who lives in a town in 79 told me there was a clump of the stuff growing not far from her garden. She had brought this up with her mairie, but nothing has been done. History - Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold (1796-1866), a German physician living in the Netherlands, was working for the Dutch army when he was posted to Japan. Being a keen botanist, he collected native plants during his visit and brought them back to Europe. In 1850, von Siebold sent a specimen to Kew Gardens in London. Japanese knotweed was found growing in the 'wild' for the first time, in Maesteg, south Wales in 1886. It has also established across mainland Europe, North America and the southern hemisphere. This global spread is particularly incredible as it has only occurred via plant fragments and not from seed. In the UK, it is estimated that controlling Japanese knotweed costs the economy around £200 million each year. It has caused problems in a range of habitats (particularly riverbanks, roadsides and derelict land) by displacing native flora and in some cases causing structural damage. London’s 2012 Olympics’ site was riddled with the plant and the developers spent four years getting rid of it. The Godzilla weed - Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica, synomyns: Fallopia japonica and Polygonum cuspidatum) is the most widespread form of knotweed. The plant has all sorts of weird and wonderful names, including Hancock’s curse, Godzilla weed and the German sausage plant. It grows remarkably fast and vigorously, 2-3 metres high each growing season, sometimes 10cm a day, with a root spread of up to 7 metres. In its homeland - Japan, China and Taiwan - it doesn’t cause anywhere near as much harm because it has plenty of natural predators like fungal pathogens and insects.
Japanese knotweed isn’t toxic. However, because it’s so allconsuming, covering the ground so comprehensively, the habitat it creates is hostile to local wildlife. It also releases allelopathic chemicals into the soil that can stop other plants from growing. It will flourish anywhere, as happy in very poor soil as it is in good. It can damage asphalt and solid masonry foundations, which means it can significantly reduce the value of land and property. Identification • In spring red/purple shoots emerge and look a bit like asparagus spears. The leaves are normally rolled up and dark green or red in colour. • During the summer the knotweed leaves are mid-green, heart shaped and can be 20cm across. In late summer small clusters of white flowers (panicles) will appear. The stems are mostly hollow and bamboo like with a distinctive zigzag appearance. • In late autumn the knotweed canes die off and the weed becomes dormant, but don't be fooled, it will return!
12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
Treatment - The weed is often spread via landfill or by taking delivery of topsoil or loam. All it takes is one fragment of root/ rhizome, hidden within a pile and this menace will gain a toehold. The plant is practically immune to burning, phoenix-like, it rises from the ashes. 1. Using tarpaulin to smother Japanese knotweed - Covering Japanese knotweed with tarpaulin in spring suppresses the weed's growth at the beginning of the season, giving you an early advantage in eradication efforts. 2. Using herbicide to kill Japanese knotweed - The second method is to apply a strong weed killer. These are mixed with water and applied to the leaves with a sprayer or you can also cut the canes low to the ground and pour the herbicide into the hollow canes. 3. Cutting Japanese Knotweed - Thirdly, Japanese knotweed can be suppressed (though not fully eradicated) by cutting it back throughout the summer so that its photosynthesis is never allowed to operate at high levels. On no account should Japanese knotweed be included with normal household waste or put out in green waste collection schemes. 4. Digging up Japanese Knotweed - You can dig up the ground where the weed shoots come up most vigorously. In these areas, you will probably discover the rhizome-clumps that produce the roots and shoots. In established stands these can easily reach widths of a foot or more. Dig up these rhizomes for disposal. Do not expect immediate results from using this tactic. No matter how careful you are, some of the rhizome roots will snap off and from even the tiniest root left in the ground, a new plant will sprout. More eco-friendly means are being tested as an alternative to chemical treatments. Soil steam sterilization involves injecting steam into contaminated soil. Research has also been carried out on Mycosphaerella leafspot fungus, which devastates knotweed in its native Japan. This research has been relatively slow due to the complex life cycle of the fungus. Following earlier studies imported Japanese knotweed psyllid insects (Aphalara itadori), whose only food source is Japanese knotweed, were released at a number of sites in Britain. In 2012, results suggested that establishment and population growth were likely, after the insects overwintered successfully. Tips for Eradicating Japanese Knotweed - Eradication and control methods are not mutually exclusive. A multi-pronged offensive will increase your chances but may take several years to complete. You can also try eating your way through this uninvited guest. There are several recipes to make using the plant’s rhubarb-like young shoots. Knotweed crumble anyone? In France Japanese knotweed is called la renouée du Japon'.
by Steve Shaw
Take a Break DSM Easy Crossword
Across: 1. Vehicle accessory used to attach a trailor (6) 4. Full of high-spirited delight (6) 8. Open space at the top of a house (5) 9. Of greater height than similar objects (7) 10. Acute abdominal pain, especially in infants (5) 11. A town in south-eastern France on the Rhône river (7) 12. Motor car company founded by a Swiss-American racing driver of the same name (9) 15. Not good for one’s health (7) 16. Vegetable with succulent whitish stalks and green leaves(5) 17. To gain with effort (7) 18. Female goat (5) 19. Take someone into custody (6) 20. Art made of small pieces of coloured stone or glass (6)
Down: 2. One of a number of things from which only one can be chosen (6) 3. The collective name for the group of countries that in the past were ruled or controlled by the UK (7-6) 5. Be in a long running dispute with someone with no means of compromise (2-11) 6. A London railway station (6) 7. Vehicle used for compacting roads and pavements (11) 13. A small shallow dish for holding a cup (6) 14. A sultanate in north-western Borneo (6)
With thanks to Rob Berry
Across: 1. Gnarled tape of my count of things to avoid? (3, 2, 3, 2, 3) 8. Could be objects of love among sisters? (5) 9. Dance hit earning degree for investigator? (7) 10. Chap cutting off ‘this mortal coil’? (3) 11. Agree ends, then kick-off gets closer? (5, 4) 13. Stared obscenely resulting in steps taken? (6) 14. Escape justice in budget office block? (3, 3) 17. Welshman getting unknown catch, result of anti-hunting campaign? (5, 4) 19. It is ‘more or less’ his turn? (3) 20. Collection of Eire art handed over to African country? (7) 22. GB exchange putting majestic into class? (5) 23. ‘Lion’ is open; a keg is cracked With thanks to M.Morris for those who dispense the drinks. (6, 7)
Brain Gym Q1. What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? Q2. What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the poor have it, the rich need it and if you eat it, you’ll die? Q3. A pregnant lady named her children: Dominique, Regis, Michelle, Fawn, Sophie and Lara. What will she name her next child? Jessica, Katie, Abby or Tilly? Q4. A car’s speedometer shows 72927 miles, a palindromic number. What are the minimum miles you would need to travel to form another? Q6. A man pushes his car to a hotel and tells its owner that he is bankrupt. Why?
Q7. Q8. Q9:
Down: 1. Rates ban on sin disturbing for those not giving up? (3-10) 2. Roll of leaders of National Darts League put in true context? (7) 3. Bleary-eyed, stray mongrel collection of past times? (9) 4. Not quite full, and with time, results in loss by evaporation? (6) 5. First of offensive, horny males provoking a certain amount of resistance? (3) 6. Form of commerce rated very badly? (5) 7. A little of that taken earlier could be beneficial, conveniently for those affected? (1, 4, 2, 3, 3) 12. A short stretch on the topless table could be easily written out? (9) 15. My identity as payer rescinded in folding craftily? (7) 16. Fabric ruined, am asked to provide a cover. (6) 18. Windows eg. first to offer resolution in every layout? (5) 21. Famous port for threesome not getting started? (3)
I am a fruit. If you take away the first letter of my name I become a crime. Take away the first two letters of my name I become an animal. Take away the first and last letter of my name and I become a form of music. What am I? Five add six is eleven, but six add seven is one. How is that possible? Can you work out the well known phrase or saying from the visual clues? b. a.
STEP STEP PETS
MAN CITY 4 - 1 WEST HAM LIVERPOOL 4 - 1 EVERTON CHELSEA 4 - 1 LEICESTER ARSENAL 4 - 1 SPURS MAN UTD 4 - 4 WATFORD
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 13
Answers on P.43 and our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr
DSM Toughie Crossword
Clubs & Associations THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION LINAZAY, POITOU-CHARENTES BRANCH
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, there are now a number of English-speaking meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in the South West of France. Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership and A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. Telephone: Angela: 05 49 87 79 09, Jim: 00 44 79 60 16 83 30 or Janet: 05 46 26 90 85. Email: publicinfo.swfrance@aa-€pe.net or visit www.aafrance.net for details of English-speaking meetings.
French Lessons for English Speakers
Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), 4 Place Leopold Bergeon, 79150 Argenton-les-Vallées Classes: beginners or intermediate. Private lessons on demand. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The Jean David Art Group meets every Tuesday at Scillé (79), and Thursdays at Jean’s studio near Chef Boutonne (79). Classes cater for all media and all levels of students - beginners most welcome! For details, please visit www. jeandavidart.com or phone Jean on 06 52 93 33 60. I’m Francis. I am 52 years old, French and have been learning English for a few years. I live in Aiffres (nr Niort). I would like to meet with English speaking people near me, to spend a couple of hours per week to speak in French or English. We could both improve our language skills this way. Contact me on email@example.com or 06 85 92 58 33.
COME and PRACTICE your FRENCH
with a friendly group of French and English speakers. Each Wednesday at 7.30pm at the Salle des Fêtes, Veluché 79600. Call Christian for more details: 05 49 63 04 78
Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres
Aims to improve the lives of people affected by Cancer in the Deux-Sèvres. Please contact the team on 06 40 77 27 35 or visit www.cancersupportfrance.org Melleran Chanteurs – Amateur singing group meeting every Monday 6.45pm in Melleran Salle des Fetes. French & English members, singing in many languages. New voices always welcomed, particularly tenor and bass. For more information contact Maggie Geal 05 49 07 11 69
DIRTY HANDS GARDENING CLUB
Meets every 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month at Coulonges-sur-l’Autize. For when, where, how and why of practical gardening contact Janette by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 05 49 75 50 06. WANT TO PLAY CRIBBAGE? Whether you are experienced, a novice, or want to learn how to play, everyone is welcome. We are a group of friendly players who meet the last Friday evening of every month in La Chapelle Thireuil. Contact Sally on 05 49 76 15 30 14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
Craft Café Creatif
Please visit the branch website: www.rblpoitou-charentes.fr
Do you enjoy knitting or sewing in the company of others? Join us in L’Absie for an enjoyable afternoon over a cup of tea and a piece of cake. For details contact Mary Phillips on email: email@example.com 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 07 58 46 or email: LASdePoitou@gmail.com
Franglais at Bressuire
Why not come and practise your French with a friendly and convivial group of French and English speakers? Each Wednesday evening (8-10pm) at the Centre Socio-Culturel in Bressuire. Phone Jan for further details 05 49 65 60 34. Royal Air Forces Association Sud-Ouest France Le Perail, 17250 BEURLAY, France Tel: 0033 (0)5 46 95 38 89 Mobile: 0033 (0)6 89 90 55 82 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org https://sites.google.com/site/rafasudouest
ThouarStMed’Arts - Association that aims to bring together people from the historic town of Thouars (Quartier Saint Médard) for a new development of artistic activity. Exhibitions, galleries, brocantes, creators, cultural events etc. Visit the website: thouarsaintmedarts79.asso-web.com
Get Together is an association for English speakers of all nationalities. We have social gatherings, lunch & wine club, quizzes, walks, meetings for all manner of hobbies and much more. Contact Julia Murray for details. Email: email@example.com Tel. 05 49 07 70 69
Chorale Mélusine, Parthenay
French 4-part choir established over 30 years (with 2 English members) always looking for “new blood”! Excellent Musical Director. Come to a rehearsal and see for yourselves. Contact Keith for more info firstname.lastname@example.org 05 49 69 14 89
Bridge Players Wanted
A small, friendly bridge group are looking for new players in the Parthenay area. We are friendly and informal and we are keen to welcome all levels of players. Contact Richard Knight via email email@example.com or 05 49 69 18 65
CYCLISTS IN FRANCE
Facebook group ‘British Cyclists in France (BCIF)’ is an online group for British cyclists to share information, events, ask advice and post photos etc. Why not join, make contacts and arrange rides with other local cyclists?
Want to keep fit, have fun and make new friends? Join us at Vasles Netball Club (no experience necessary). We meet every Monday from 5.30-7pm at the Salle Omnisports in Vasles. For more information contact Lynn on 05 49 63 52 39 or mobile 0044 7527490241
Living the dream
by Yvette Castle
hat dream became reality for Debbie Fisher, Vivianne D’Incau, Ali Prior and myself (all players from the Vasles Netball Club) when we travelled to Liverpool to watch the 2019 Netball World Cup. Armed with passports and cabin only luggage, off we went.
For Vivianne, one of our French players, it was a chance to go to the birthplace of The Beatles and we wanted her to experience the best the UK can offer. On arrival at Liverpool she looked out of the window at the grey drizzly sky and surroundings and asked “Who would want to live here?” We were greeted by our first coach and founding member Paula Stokes and Caitlin, daughter of Ali, who was our chauffeur for the next six days’ adventures. We were taken straight to Liverpool and arrived at the Vitality Netball World cup venue (and yes it rained), but not to be deterred, we went straight to a restaurant for a bite to eat. We were at the same restaurant as the Trinidad and Tobago team, who were affectionately known throughout the competition as the ‘Calypso girls’ - very friendly.
On Friday we returned to Liverpool for the official opening of the World Cup, at the M&S Arena. When we arrived we could feel the anticipation and excitement of the fans of all ages and nationalities. In their team colours with painted faces and waving their nations flags. The main concourse was surrounded with exhibitors promoting netball and we had the opportunity to try and shoot some goals from various spots. Here we are with 6’5” Caitlin Bassett Goal Shooter for Australia.
Some teams’ matches were played prior to the official opening, which was at 3pm, when all 16 nations entered the arena to great applause. However, the roof nearly came off when England’s Roses entered, in a spine tingling moment. After speeches from the President of the International Netball Federation, The Hon. Molly Rhone and Mims Davies (UK Sports Minister), the event opened with a symbolic dance by energetic young dancers, accompanied by an animated light display. From above two orbs were lowered which appeared to be held by a netball player who joined the dancers on the ground. The ceremony ended with a small firework display in the hall before the main event, which was the England team playing Uganda. The national anthem for Uganda was sung in their mother tongue by a Canadian singer, Capri Everitt, who had learnt all the national anthems and sang each one with a sign language choir.
Modelling our ponchos in sunny Liverpool. From left: Paula Stokes, Yvette Castle, Ali Prior, Debbie Fisher and Vivianne D’iacau.
Wearing our much needed ponchos, we walked around the key tourist points and ended up at The Cavern Club. What a fantastic place, live music and lots of singing and dancing. I think Vivianne must have forgotten about the rain as she spent a fair amount of time dancing too. It was amazing to see all the photographs of various celebrities from stage and screen displayed around the walls, some of whom went back several decades. On returning to our cars we spotted Caitlin Bassett, the 6’5” Goal Shooter for Australia, who posed for photos with us . A perfect way to end our first day in Liverpool.
The match was thrilling with attacking play from England, who won 64-32. All the ladies played well and were not afraid to challenge and mark their opposition hard, sometimes resulting in warnings from the umpires. To be able to see the England team was a great honour and gave us the encouragement to continue to play. The underlying theme of the event was the empowerment of women and through netball we can support each other locally, nationally and internationally. This was poignant as a short film was shown featuring a 54-year-old women who told the story of her fight with cancer and the support she received from her netball teammates during that hard time, especially after the loss of her hair. After a long and enjoyable day we headed back to base to meet and have photos with Kadeen and Sasha Corbin both England internationals. Saturday morning was spent recovering from the night before! We visited Altrincham for the final British delight of fish and chips, mushy peas, curry sauce and bread and butter, followed by a stroll around this very busy market town. Having said farewell to Liverpool we returned home happy with great memories, ready to start the new season in September (Monday 9) at the Salle de sport in Vasles.
Nantwich was our base, so the following day we looked around this beautiful market town and listened to a lunchtime concert at St. Mary’s church. If you are interested in joining Vasles Netball Club and would like to know more or just fancy a go: www.facebook.com/VaslesNetballClub/ or telephone Lynn on 05 49 63 52 39 or mobile 0044 7527490241 The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 15
Hobbies Back to basics - Part 1
by Alison Morton
hat do you do when you find a typed manuscript in the attic/ archive box of a former relative, or the printout of a book you wrote a while ago and think you’d like to see it published?
The first things to decide are why you want it published, and who is it for? Is it something that would grab other people’s attention enough for them to pay out their money? If you’re only looking for a few copies for yourself and your family, then that’s a separate issue. But if you want to put it on the market for others to buy, it’s like starting a small business. The traditional option To go the traditional route where you sell it to a publisher, you’ll need to supply it in a publishable format - typed up as a Word file in one and a half spacing and set out in chapters. If it’s a nonfiction book about a technical subject, or a memoir, a publisher would also wish you to provide maps, drawings and/or pictures. The important question for them is ‘Who will buy it and how many copies will it sell?’ Be aware they won’t take it on unless they think it’s a solid commercial proposition. If they do accept it, they will offer you a publishing contract and pay you money for the right to publish. You cede ownership to them, although you retain copyright. No cost to you and small royalties (7-10% of net sales proceeds) will be paid to you. Doing it independently If you decide to publish yourself, you have two ways: learn the skills to do it yourself or commission a publishing services company or group of professionals - formatter, cover designer, editor - to do it for you. No book will get a foothold in the market without these three things done properly. And all these services will cost you money. However, you would be in charge of the project and make the decisions.
YOUR Book Reviews
Warm thanks go to Roger Vickery and Anna Lark for sharing their book reviews with us. If you’d like to send us a book review, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
MY NAME IS ASHER LEV by Chaim Potok This is the story of Asher Lev, a boy born with a prodigious artistic ability into a Hasidic Jewish family, set in the 1950s, the time of Joseph Stalin and the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union. During Asher’s childhood, his artistic inclination brings him into conflict with the members of his Jewish community, which considers art unrelated to religious expression to be a waste of time and sacrilegious. It brings him into particular conflict with his father, a man who has devoted his life to serving their leader, the Rebbe, by travelling around the world bringing the teachings of their sect to other Jews, and who is by nature incapable of understanding or appreciating art. Asher begins to go to art museums where he becomes fixated by paintings of the crucifixion and starts copying them. His father returns home one night after a long trip to Russia for the Rebbe, he sees Asher’s paintings of the crucifix and is furious. He thinks that his gift is foolish and from the Sitra Achra, or Other Side. Asher’s mother doesn’t know whether to support her son or her husband. She is torn between the two of them. Asher grows up to be a formidable artist. However, the gift finally calls upon him to paint his masterpiece - a work which uses the symbolism of the crucifixion to express his mother’s torment. He knows the imagery will offend his parents and his community, but feels compelled to paint it.
Study books similar to the one you’re proposing to publish to see how they’re set out inside, how attractive the cover is, whether the blurb on the back pulls you in. After retailer deductions, you keep all the sales proceeds (typically 65-70%) but you need to fund designers, editors, etc. from them.
The author’s descriptions of the boy’s compulsion to paint (even when without brushes his hand still drawing patterns and lines) is mirrored by those reflecting the father’s inablity to comprehend his sons need to express himself through the medium. When the two come together, it is very powerful.
Publishing services companies These companies take your project from typed manuscript to book publication by providing a full-service package. Ethical ones like SilverWood Books or Matador are completely upfront about theirs being a paying service - the perfect springboard for somebody serious about publishing their book but who knows nothing about publishing. After retailer deductions, you keep all the net sales proceeds (typically 60-70%) but you pay an upfront fee to the publishing services company for their work.
by Roger Vickery
However, be warned. There are also businesses who offer you a ‘publishing contract’ that isn’t a real publishing contract, but an opportunity for you to spend large amounts of your money, often thousands of pounds/euros. Unscrupulous ones make it look as if it’s a traditional publishing contract and don’t mention payment until you are about to sign the ‘contract’. I don’t want to be sued so I won’t mention names, but feel free to contact me privately. Part 2 next month.
Happy writing! Alison has compiled a selection of articles from this column into ‘The 500 Word Writing Buddy’, available on Amazon and in paper format at events. 16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
LETTERS OF NOTE Compiled by Shaun Usher This volume is a compilation of 125 letters, memos and telegrams written to or from the monarchy, world leaders and famous names from popular culture. Some examples are from Queen Elizabeth II to President Dwight Eisenhower, Charles Dickens to The Times and Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol. The book presents facsimiles of the original letters alongside a typed version as some of the handwriting can be difficult to decipher in places, although wonderful to see and in some cases accompanied by cartoons and rough sketches. Letters of Note is the perfect gift and coffee table book and great to dip in and out of at your leisure. From the harrowing words of Mary Stewart to Henry III of France just prior to her execution, to a lighthearted reply from the American comedian Steve Martin to a fan, every page is pure pleasure. by Anna Lark
Action, comedy, music, politics… who says September movies are boring? The weather may be getting cooler but the action on the big screen is hotting up, here’s our picks.
GOOD BOYS (Out Now) A Hangover-style comedy seen through the eyes of 12 year olds desperate to make it to their first ‘kissing party’. Full of low brow humour and pratfalls, which might have seemed like cringe-worthy exploitation is actually a funny cavalcade of chaos. The three boys navigate various adult situations with endearing innocence, with the gags clearing a path to a rather sweet moral about growing up. Not every joke is a winner but for those wanting a different spin on the R-Rated comedy, this is a fine choice. ANGEL HAS FALLEN (Out Now) Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself on the run from the government he serves as he is framed for the attempted assassination of the president. Butler has made himself the poster child of ‘save the world’ action movies, grappling with terrorists, crooked cops, and even the weather in the awful Geostorm. Here he’s doing mostly the same thing he did in Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen – look tough, get the bad guys, save the day. If you’re a fan of the previous two films this will be enough to sustain you, sadly it wasn’t for us! BLINDED BY THE LIGHT (11 September) A story set in 1980’s England, about a young man who finds an escape from the tensions of his home life through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Like a lot of recent singalong musicals, the plot feels patchy, however the life-affirming nature of Gurinder Chadha’s film is difficult to resist. The sheer glee of all involved to put across the joy of The Boss’ music means you’ll be tapping your feet, if not dancing in the aisles.
THE BRINK (25 September) A documentary following controversial figure Steve Bannon as he navigates the 2018 mid-term elections. With the actions featured in this film still being felt around the world, it’s hard to remain neutral as you see one of the architects of the rise of right wing politics at work. Nevertheless, it’s a restrained portrait of a figure who will elicit either anger or admiration depending on your politics, and the processes that changed the direction of the western world.
NE by Kelly Knight
ell all of a sudden, we are mid-August and well into triathlon season! When we left you last, we were itching to get back into the open water and thankfully, the heatwaves have made this a pleasure. Sadly, they also made the cycling and running somewhat difficult and I think everyone is relieved that temperatures are now more bearable, and some normality can be resumed!
There have been several events for Team Madness since our last update; Thouars triathlon was our first and we all had to remember how to do everything! The thought of transitioning between disciplines is usually scarier than actually doing it and everyone did well. Members of the team also attended Cholet triathlon and La Roche. Both Kelly Gomez and I then completed our first middle distance triathlon down in Hourtin (1.5km swim/40km bike/10km run) and were pleased to reach the finish line. Some of the team took a trip out to Noirmoutier to run the famous Passage du Gois, a cobbled strip in the sea that has to be run at low tide before the water returns. July saw the team turning out for our local triathlon at our own lake in Verruyes. A fantastic day with lots of support shown by friends and family. Kelly Gomez and Haley took part in a novel combined triathlon… completing two triathlons in one day! Amazing achievements and the children competed here too. Sarah and Rob did a half marathon relay and the 12km course at Pescalis and were pleased to improve on last year’s times.
There was a big Team Madness turnout for a local obstacle run - 12km of obstacles, lots of mud and water. It was gruelling, but the laughter numbed the pain and it was great to cross the final obstacle, together in fits of giggles. Some of the team recently visited Longeville-sur-Mer for a mixture of 5km, 10km and 21km races. A beautiful setting and a very enjoyable run, definitely one for next year. We are now awaiting competitions to recommence after the August break, kicking off at Cognac where we will be doing our first ever team triathlon. We will swim and cycle together and then the three fastest will sprint the running section to get the best possible time for the team. September will be busy with the Niort and L’Aiguillon-sur-Mer triathlons and then it will be all about the marathons! I will be attempting my first half marathon in October and Haley, Sarah, Anais, Kelly Gomez and Rob will be doing the La Rochelle FULL marathon; a first for most of them. The triathlons will be on the back burner to allow more time for running, running and more running. With a busy few months ahead, we will ramp up the training and hope to see some more personal bests! May the MADNESS continue!
Release dates are nationwide in France. Team Madness at La Dynamic obstacle run
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 17
Vultures in France - Reintroduction and conservation
ow that farm animal carcasses can be, and are, disposed of by farmers and most larger wild animals have died out or are strongly reduced in numbers, vultures do not have an apparent role to fill in the scheme of things. So why reintroduce vultures at all? Of course the question of “Why?” can be applied to the whole of nature: Can humans continue to exist without the planet’s life around them? Think of a self-sustaining Moon or Mars colony with no need for animal or plant life. But, wait: I am forgetting the enormous colony of bacteria within and on each and every human, which has only recently begun to be appreciated as being an essential and symbiotic part of each human. Will humankind be poorer? Will humans be able to function physically or psychologically long term without the planet’s life around them? Without knowing more about the biology and ecology of vultures, I would say that guilt and atonement, together with a love of the beauty of nature, are the major driving motives for the people working on their reintroduction or the financing or approving thereof. I know that I feel guilt at the disregard that we humans have for our environment - our life support system. I think that France would be a poorer place without those big birds soaring in the sky oblivious to humans and their works. Beautiful they are not, unless one sees beauty in life itself. But there again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I can look at them for hours at a time wondering at their being and the hazardous course of evolution that brought them to our skies. The French reintroduction and conservation world ranges from small groups working within a restricted geographic area and with particular vulture species; to the national Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) and its local associations, to, on an even larger geographic scale, the LIFE program (L’Instrument Financier pour l’Environnement), financed by the European Commission, which is affiliated with the reintroduction of vultures in France. The process of reintroduction comprises researching the traditional nesting grounds and analysing the requirements of each species, and then developing a plan defining the number of breeding pairs necessary for a viable colony: the rate of introduction per year for sustaining that colony in its first years, and the sourcing of the birds. Administrative measures need to be agreed upon with local and national governments for the use of farm cadavers, both unprescribed deposition and deposition in designated feeding sites, and with farming communities about use of poisons and vulture-harming veterinary products. Reintroduction efforts also need to include general information on the lifestyle of vultures, to remove any ancient animosity towards the birds. The local LPO associations will ring birds and sometimes GPS track them and, in general, follow their wellbeing. This work, which has been ongoing for over 30 years, has resulted in the visibility of these large birds in a number of areas in France. They have become a tourist attraction - perhaps another reason for their existence?
Five countries are most frequently mentioned in discussions about the reintroduction of vultures in Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, and Spain. However, part of the work of creating viable breeding colonies of the four species that nest in Europe – bearded, black, Egyptian, and griffon - requires their sequential introduction into suitable habitats, where their interrelated lifestyles will help support the species that follow them in the sequence of carcass destruction. It also requires the establishment of corridors between the main colonies in order to allow young birds to move to other colonies, a process that preserves genetic diversity. There seems to be more concentration on Bulgaria and Croatia in the news these days, although a recent item mentioned three griffon vultures from the Dutch zoo, Artis, being released in Sardinia to reinforce a newly established colony. Zoo Parc Douéla-Fontaine is releasing its young birds in Bulgaria. Another report concerned the release of two birds to a new colony on Corsica. The immature griffon vultures fly the nest and the colony, to return some three years later, and every so often there is news of their doings. Recently, there was the story of Nelson, a Bulgarian griffon that had been tracked to Yemen, found and captured by local militia. At first, they thought that he was carrying a spy camera, but then they recognized the GPS unit for what it was. Eventually, after feeding the starving bird and treating his wounds and bringing him up to strength, they crated him and sent him back to Bulgaria (by air, of course; how else would you transport a vulture?). A wonderful story, not only of a young bird, but also of the humans who showed humanity under conditions of war. Another young rescue bird named Kvarner, which had not been successful in leaving the nest, was found and looked after by Beli Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures, Croatia, and then released fitted with a GPS transmitter. The bird left the release site and flew - or, rather, glided - 350km to Ravenna and then to Parma, Italy, including 170km over the Adriatic Sea, reaching a maximum speed of just under 120km/h. This is most unusual, since the birds cannot cope with sustained flapping flight and many die trying to cross large bodies of water, such as the Straight of Gibraltar. And so ends this amateur discourse, which began in Doué zoo five years ago and has enriched my knowledge of the world. I hope others have found pleasure as well in reading about these unique birds. This article is the eighth and last in a series. Parts one to seven can be downloaded from ‘The DSM’ website, at www. thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr.
Howard’s photograps of a Black vulture (left) and Griffon vulture (right) at Zoo Parc Doué-la-Fontaine.
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by Howard Needs
Un de rst an din g a Dre ss Ma kin g Patte rn Pa r t 2
by Nicola Chadwick
pattern envelope as well as In part 2 we will look at the back of a when you pick up a dress some common pattern markings, somore at ease. If you missed making pattern you will feel much h it on my blog page www. part one of this series you can catc modeliste-creative.com
Th e envelope ba ck : One of the most important pieces of information you will find on the back of your pattern envelope are the style details with a description of the garment, including an indication of the fit. This will often help you quickly decide if the pattern is right for you. The envelope will tell you how many pattern pieces are required for each style variation in the envelope. The most complex pattern I have ever come across was by Issey Miyake, it only had one pattern piece, but it was more like origami than a dress making pattern! The envelope back will also give you fabric quantity estimates as well as notions. You will be advised how much fabric, lining and any other contrast fabric you need to buy. Notions are the extra trimmings you will need, such as buttons, zips, fusible interfacing etc. Don’t forget to purchase sewing thread, and if you can’t match the colour exactly to the fabric then the golden rule is – better lighter than darker. Most importantly you will see a size chart on the back of the pattern envelope. It is always best to check your body measurements with a tape measure and select the size you need according to the measurements you have taken. If you believe you are a specific size and you just go ahead and select a pattern based on your usual high street size, it is likely that your pattern and subsequently the garment you make, will not fit! The tape measure is your friend when sewing and you should always have it close by! Pattern envelope backs are packed with information, you may also see back views of your chosen garment and finished garment measurements!
Ins ide the patte rn envelope: g your A lay plan is the common term for the guide to puttinget this to time the taking worth It’s fabric. the pattern pieces on exactly part right. You must place the pattern pieces on the fabric the placing and grain a as known what’s has Fabric bed. as descri es behav that nt garme a in result will fabric on the wrong grain worn a differently to the designer’s intentions. Have you ever to the pair of jeans or leggings where the inside leg seam wraps back? front leg and no matter how much you pull, it will not gomeans This happens when a trouser pattern is cut ‘off grain’. This tly! that the trouser pattern was not placed on the fabric correc acturer It’s a common fault with cheap garments when the manuf be wants to save money. Let’s look at how pattern pieces should placed on fabric.
Knowing the selvedge of a fabric piec placing your pattern pieces correctly e is the key to as the finished edge of the fabric - - often described image to help you next time you visithere is a close up a fabric shop.
You will also find de tailed making instructions inside the patt (larger pattern compan ern envelope ies produce detailed illustrations description of the sewand a brief smaller independent patt ing process often photograph the ern companies garment being made in stages). Finally, let ’s look at som common pattern markie of the most glance this can be a ngs. At first because there are so little daunting ma markings. Your making ins tructions will have a key ny lines and . As I have already me markings are the grain ntioned the most important pattern above. The fold line ind line and the fold line - also illustrated on the fold of the fabicates that you must place your pattern Notches are placed on ric to create a whole mirrored piece. the pattern to enable you the fabric sections as you to match up the process that many dre are sewing them. This is a part of ss ma kers forget, but is essen always make sure you tra tial. So Gone are the days of tainsfer all pattern markings to the fabric. lor s’ cha lk, modern dress makers use dissolvable pens to mark their patterns!
If you have any questions at all I am always happy to answer them!
Nicola The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 19
Home & Garden
September ‘The breezes taste of apple peel. The air is full of smells to feelRipe fruit, old footballs, burning brush, New books, erasers, chalk and such. The bee, his hive well honeyed, hums, And mother cuts chrysanthemums.
fter the really difficult time of gardening in the intense heat, 40°C here at times, and being faced with the lack of water at crisis levels and the subsequent hosepipe and garden watering ban, we have had some rain and that has brought about a very different feel to the recent days. The humidity levels have decreased, the air is fresher and the plants are not drooping through lack of water. It has not been without cost and many of the perennials which are usually so robust have died right back and gardening at the moment is more like damage control. Some of the hostas have been devastated, even though they were moved to the shadier parts of the garden. Watering with buckets from the water butt was slow and arduous work and the pots had to take it in turns to be watered as there are so many of them. At least, I’m hoping, ever the optimist, that the root systems will have survived and the plants will all fight back. Time will tell. Lots of the blooms were sacrificed to keep the plants alive, as flowers take so much of a plant’s energy. There are many valiant survivors and cuttings from these will be taken and divisions made to replace and increase the ‘stock’. This is not the first serious heatwave and I doubt it will be the last, and surely it is an indication of the climate change that we are all constantly talking about. The future changes for my gardening plans will be to grow more of the exotic, drought-resistant plants that will survive in dry, shingly, shrubby soil. I have some already… the hedychium has put on its usual glorious display, the fatsia japonica (false castor oil plant or Japanese aralia) has increased in size, the canna lilies have been superb and the agapanthus have flowered better than ever before. The orange trumpet vine (campsis) has put on its best show and I will definitely be
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trying to take cuttings so that it will add colour to other corners of the garden. I like ferns and palms of all kinds and these have performed well too. The sago palm is very tough, in habit and to touch, and the chamaerops palm has doubled in size. The fig trees lost all their leaves at one point, but amazingly, just a couple of weeks later, new growth appeared all over. The small lemon tree had given up the ghost, but a good talking to and a severe cutting back did the trick and lovely glossy new foliage is the result. The perfume from rubbing the leaves gives a hint of the fruit to come. Verbena bonariensis is a really tough plant and bears its purple flowers on tall stems, so other flowers can be seen through it; it looks as if it is suspended in mid- air. It is well worth sowing in the borders. The grass is completely dead, but the plantain abounds, so mowing, a dusty process at the moment, keeps it in check. And at least it is green! The summer pruning of the pear tree has been completed and the fruits are beginning to swell nicely, so that crop has survived. Like many of you, we have had members of the family staying recently and one of our ‘outings’ was to the Parc Floral at Court d’Aron. Nicknamed the ‘Paradise Garden’, it is close to Saint-Cyr-en-Talmondais and easy to find. Entrance fee is 11€, but there is no time limit to your visit. The gardens are very natural in style with many wild flowers appearing amongst the borders. There are beautiful trees and shrubs and a ‘Vallée de Musique’ where the musical instruments have been created with plants within flower beds. There is an enclosed farm for the children to explore and a café/ice cream parlour for the after walk refreshment. The ‘pièce de résistance’ though is the lotus lake. The perfume reaches you before you can see the flowers, which are held on long stems above the water. There is a shelter to sit under and the breeze from the lake is so refreshing. The peace and solitude are wonderful and it is a tranquil place to relax and enjoy the beauty. The story of the lotus flower and how to grow it is displayed in French and English. There is an opportunity to buy some lotus seeds and so I did, and I intend to try to grow them later. It is well worth a visit for yourselves if you have some spare time, or are searching for a place to take visitors. There are lots of ideas to copy of different plant combinations and styles of planting, and a hothouse full of exotics. There are lakes, fish and birds, lots of photo opportunities! Now is the time to: • Deadhead plants as soon as the flowers fade, this will encourage more buds and continued flowering. The exceptions to this are the mophead and lacecap hydrangeas. The old blooms can offer some protection to new tender buds which will be forming early next year. • Regularly feed and water hanging baskets and pots. When bedding plants have finished, fill the gaps with spring bedding such as pansies, violas, heathers and small evergreens. • Stop feeding shrubs grown in containers as they will put on lush green growth which could easily be damaged by an early frost. • Divide established summer flowering perennials and plant in gaps in beds and borders.
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Plant new trees, shrubs and perennials whilst the soil is still warm. Maintain grassed areas by removing moss (probably not much after our hot summer) scarify and aerate using the tines of a garden fork, top dress and feed for an improved appearance next year. Sow hardy annuals such as limanthes, centaurea, ornamental poppies and cornflowers for early blooms next year. There is still time to take cuttings from tender fuchsias, pelargoniums and penstemons to overwinter under cover. Collect seed from perennials, drying them before storing in a cool dry place in paper bags or envelopes. Plant late flowering perennials such as heleniums, helianthus, asters and echinacea ready for next year. Take lavender and rosemary shoot tip cuttings and plant them in gritty compost. Keep an eye out for vine weevil grubs which could be in the soil now, particularly in potted plants. They are white with a brown head and are comma shaped. They feed on roots and can devastate plants quite quickly. If a plant looks as if it’s drooping even though it’s been watered and fed, lift it out of the pot and check for grubs underneath. If they are present, change the compost completely and wash the roots of the plant thoroughly before repotting it. Use a vine weevil nematode in your watering can to prevent reinfestation. These are available online. It’s a good time to plant clematis now. The soil is still warm and the plant will have a chance to develop a good root system before the winter comes. Dig a hole, water it, line the hole with bonemeal and fresh compost. Plant deeply up to the first set of leaves and firm it in. Lift gladioli corms when the leaves start to go yellow. Store in a cool dry place until next year. Move evergreen shrubs whilst the soil is still warm, replanting in a suitable spot. Summer prune fruit trees and shrubs such as laurel, box, hawthorn, leylandii, Lawson’s cypress, privet and yew. Pruning now, gives the plant stems a chance to heal over before the frosts. Summer pruning is done in order to control the growth and size of a tree or shrub. It is the youngest stems and branches that are removed as these contain growth promoting sugars which need to be retained and stored by the main plant ready to support the spurt of growth next spring. Keep watering camellias and rhododendrons to ensure good bud formation next year. Plant spring bulbs when they become available, order some catalogues or go online to ‘bulbs’. There are lots of new varieties available. Planting bulbs as soon as you buy them or receive them, allows them to develop good root systems and store the food necessary for growth in the spring.
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Once the tassels on sweetcorn have turned brown, they are probably ready to harvest. Check by squeezing a kernel and if the liquid which comes out is milky, then they are ready to pick. Marrows, squashes and pumpkins can be left on the plant, but should be harvested before the first frost. Plant onion sets. Continue harvesting apples and pears, storing in a cool dry place. If the fruit has scabby patches, it won’t store well, but can be eaten now. Harvest potatoes leaving tubers to dry before storing in a dark, frost free place. Keep leeks covered to protect against leek moth. If honey coloured toadstools appear at the base of a tree, it may be a sign of honey fungus. Lift a piece of bark to check for fungal tissue. If there is some, it’s a condition that is difficult to treat and it may be better to remove the tree. Continue picking autumn raspberries and blackberries. Apply grease bands to fruit trees at the end of the month to deter codling moth. Sow oriental leaves, parsley, coriander, spinach and winter radish. This can be continued until the middle of October. Clear away detritus and debris from around the base of plants, flower beds and pot tops to prevent fungal disease…and it looks tidier too!
Whatever you do in the garden…enjoy!
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 21
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Small colour Advert from 35,17€ ttc per month
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 23
Where We Live... Community Spirit
by Steve Shaw
mongst the apple orchards of Secondigny a community came together to raise funds for the Walking For Violet campaign and to show their support for David Jeapes, Violet's grandfather, who is walking from his home in the Deux-Sèvres to Violet's home town of Hastings, East Sussex. The fundraising fête had been organised by Julie and Simon Tee and held in their idyllic garden which encompasses two picturesque fishing lakes. The fête was held in conjunction with a fishing competition, so after one had perused the stalls, bought an ice cream and had a massage, one could wander around the lakes watching the fishermen, women and children try to catch some of the enormous fish inhabiting the water. The giant carp seemed to be toying with them, often cruising around the surface of the water, sticking their mouths out for a gulp of air, some even leaping out of the water altogether. If the fishermen were irritated by the constant flow of people coming up to them and asking 'have you caught anything?' they didn't show it.
As a non-fisher person myself it was fascinating watching the different approaches and tactics used by the people lurking amongst the bulrushes every few yards. I don't think the conditions were that condusive to a peaceful afternoon's fishing, but that was not why everyone was there. As well as the fishing, people from all over the area had come to support the cause by offering their services, skills and produce for a donation to Violet. I have never left a fête feeling so mentally and physically catered for. Pamela Irving was giving reflexology sessions, Deborah Saunders hand massages (my hands are still tingling), Lisa Pryke catered for peoples spiritual requirements as a psychic medium, Kelly Knight pampered and massaged and at the end of the afternoon I joined a yoga session given by Rebecca Novick, on a grassy bank over looking the lakes. Never has angling and yoga come together in such harmony. 3
1. Some of the fishing competitors hard at it. (Photo by Ray Young) 2. Rebecca Novick’s al fresco yoga class. (Photo by Jon Crocker) 3. Fête in full swing. (Photo by Ray Young) 4. Esta the vintage ice cream van keeping people cool. 5. Loui Bertram (aged 11) who won the fishing competition. (Photo by Ray Young) 6. David Jeapes in training - keeping his energy levels up. (Photo by Sally Warden) 7. And the band played on, well two of them. (Photo by Ray Young) 8. Anna with Vanda and Mick Lawrence - game for a laugh. 9. The long and winding road. David’s route map - 1 million steps (775km)!
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As well as our mental and physical well-being people were selling their wares with proceeds being donated to the cause. The obligatory tombola was in full swing (which raised a large amount of money, thanks to the generous donations from people and local businesses including Château du Pont Jarno and the Perfect Pig Company), second hand books, plants, jams, a stall of the most beautiful hand knitted children's jumpers, paintings and a dazzling range of mosaics by Berry Créatif. Throughout the afternoon the dulcet tones of Mellow Yellow, Dock of the Bay and Oh Sit Down echoed across the lakes, performed expertly by The Moonshine Club.
A special thanks must go to Julie and Simon Tee who not only organised the event, but celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary the night before. Very little sleep had been had by some, quantities of rum consumed and there were some glazed eyes at the fête. When we were walking round the lakes we came across one of the revellers slumped in some bulrushes with his fishing rod looking worse for wear.
As I wandered around the stalls I nearly tripped over something I thought was an activity for children, but on closer inspection saw it was a series of photocopied maps joined together showing David's incredible walk (‘one million steps’ - see photo) through France. At the end of which was a bucket of water signifying the English Channel and then a shorter series showing the south coast to Hastings. My hips were pulsating slightly from the yoga session, so to see the scale of David's task was amazing. Having spoken to him earlier, and seeing the steely determination in his eyes, I was left in no doubt he was going to complete the challenge mapped out in front of him. David had said how moved he had been by the way everyone had given their time, energy and money to help Violet, his four-year-old granddaughter who has a debilitating medical condition, cerebral palsy, dystonia (chronic involuntary muscle contractions), epilepsy and a rare chromosome disorder.
The fête raised an amazing 3 000€.
David starts up that long and winding road (the GR36) on 6 September for one month. We wish him all the very best for his journey and will let you know how he gets on.
For updates and information about the main fundraising event www.walkingforviolet.com - www.facebook.com/Walking4Violet/ twitter.com/Walking4Violet - #W4V Association number: W793005002 The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 25
...A look at what makes France so special
Segora September Celebration W
e are delighted to announce the winners of the 2019 writing competitions for poetry, short story, vignette and oneact play. Entries exceeded all previous years, are of a very high standard and can be read on www.poetryproseandplays.com
A Segora celebration day will be held in Saint-André-sur-Sèvre (79380) at La Salle de Cloître on Saturday 14 September beginning at 10am with a writers’ workshop led by Professor Maggie Butt, A view from here. To book please contact Jocelyn Simms on email@example.com From 2pm there will be readings and discussions by the authors plus adjudications by the judges. Attendance is free. On Sunday 15 September at 10am Maggie Butt will hold a Q and A session conducted by local author Harriet Springbett. This will be followed by the launch of Tickling the Dragon by Jocelyn Simms - the birth of the nuclear age told in poems accompanied by historical notes and original photographs of Christmas Island in 1958 taken by Sapper Billy Wayne. Sheila Aldous, a finalist in the poetry competition will present Paper Boats, the burning of Teignmouth and Shaldon, the last invasion on English soil. Attendance is free. In supporting Segora: www.poetryproseandplays.com you are helping to support MSF.
by Gordon Simms
One of this year’s winning entries... A unique category in the competitions is the Segora Vignette. Here is the winner by local writer Sally Pearson, Montournais (85). THE DRAGON ON MY WINDOWSILL Lucy is the dragon who lives on the sill beyond the windo beside my cluttered office desk. From there we both have wpane, view of the garden, with its riot of wisteria, weeds and a great marching bamboo. Never daunted by mountains, she scales the house walls like a true professional, coming and going as she please s. Having landed, she flicks a pointed tongue (not forked like the legend rude enough) before skittering to and fro along the ledge, , but as if to check up on the progress of my writer ’s block. Sometimes she’s a statue, glaring at me through glass. Posed, I presume, for me to appreciate her iridescent curves and latest haute couture. Her designer skin is mottled green and gold, and daubed with swanky stripes down each side of her supple waist. It ends divinely, in a whipping, snake-like tail. When not model ling she’s hunting, poised like a cat ready to spear a corn-filled Replete, she dozes in full view on the sun-warmed stone, mouse. lulled by the soft tapping of keys. Often bored by my sedentary lifestyle and vulgar lack of attenti on, she sets off on flattened, splayed stilettos in search entertainment. Some call her common, a lizard of no of better account, but I see the fire in her, waiting to set alight the world, toss clad knights off their horses and turn to ash the dreams silverof sullen maidens. I’ve noted her swelling stomach and wonder how long before she brings the family to visit, if her eggs survive. it will be they will, her ancestors having reproduced for the last twoNo doubt hundred and twenty million years, whilst watching with indifference the passing of species such as ours. Pity the creature who, expectant of a future, squats beside
©Sally Pearson 2019
Sally says the announcement, during the recent heatwave, that humanity could end in 2050 if global warming continues at the current rate gave her particular pause for thought. ‘The Dragon on My Windowsill’ is the result.
Photo by Howard Needs
...more in the October issue of ‘The DSM’.
LookieLikie Have you ever noticed the similarity between Moe Howard (the American actor and comedian from the Three Stooges) and our very own Tourteau fromagé (the cheese cake traditionally consumed and distributed at weddings, Easter or any moments of conviviality)? Two of the Three Stooges in a scene from Malice in the Palace © Wikicommons/ Jules White and Columbia Pictures
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© Wikicommons/ Thomon
Heaven and Hell
Sometimes life in France can feel like living in paradise but, to mix a metaphor, it is not always plain sailing. We asked Debbee and Jeff Adamson who have lived in SaintMartin-du-Fouilloux since 2013 to give us their highs and lows. (Photo: Debbee with three of her beloved cats, Jeff took the picture).
1. Describe a heavenly day in France. Wake up to the view from our bedroom window with the sun just coming over the trees. A long leisurely lunch with friends at Le Donjon, Ménigoute. A quick walk around the lake followed by a dip in our pool in glorious sunshine. Doing a crossword together drinking chilled wine, again looking over our fabulous view as the sun goes down over our house. An episode of Breaking Bad with our four cats snuggled around us and then bed.......... Describe a hellish day in France. Going to a meeting and being asked for the one document that I haven’t prepared for the dossier I’ve spent hours putting together, photocopying etc. (Debs: I say ‘I’ as I am the only one who does all the preparation for official meetings). 2. What's your French food heaven? Moules and frites (by the sea), a cheese board and a café gourmand. What's your French food hell? One word, andouillette! 3. What do you love most about your French property? The space, the view and having log burners. What irritates you about your French home? Looking around and seeing all the work that still needs doing after six years of renovation!
The start of the chasse season right through until the end of the chasse season. The hounds sometimes come on to our land and we’ve lost two cats on the day of the chasse. I try not to think what might have happened to them, although I’ve been assured by members of the chasse that the hounds wouldn’t go for catswe have seen them rip chickens apart and am pretty sure they would if they got the chance... 7. If you had to buy a loved one a French present what would you give them? A weekend in a town or village we haven’t been to, preferably near the coast. If you had to buy someone you didn't like a Gaulic gift what would you give them? I’m afraid we’re back to andouillette again! 8. What was the most exciting thing about starting your new life in France? The start of a completely new way of life, leaving behind the daily commute by tube into work. Also for me (Debs), living in the countryside again, I was brought up in small villages and although I have loved city living, I do feel I’ve come back to my roots. What was the most excruciating part of starting your new life in France? What to do at Christmas! It’s such a family time and although our children and grandchildren have come over here they can’t do it every year because of work and other family commitments. We’ve gone back to the UK to be with them but find we miss the space of our home, especially as we sleep on sofa beds. Fortunately, this year we have a new experience as we are all meeting up in Naples where our eldest daughter’s partner is from, a perfect solution! 9. What do you miss most about the UK? The pub! What do you miss least about the UK? The traffic.
4. What is the most wonderful thing about living in the DeuxSèvres and surrounding area? All the wonderful friends we've made. What do you not like about living in the Deux-Sèvres? We’d like to be closer to the sea. 5. When driving in department 79 and the surrounding areas, what sight would fill you with joy and wonder? Fields full of sunflowers in full bloom (I’ve included a great photo our friend Viv Moingeon took the other day on her morning walk). When driving in department 79 and the surrounding areas, what sight would fill you with momentary road rage? Litter on the grass verges. When we first started coming here in 2008 you never saw any litter at all. Unfortunately, it has got worse since they started recycling, as it falls off the back of the lorry sometimes, but it’s also people throwing things out of their cars. 6. Which do you consider to be the most heartwarming time of the French year? We love our village’s picnic up on the Terrier outside Saint-Martindu-Fouilloux. We all take our own food and drink although the village provides an aperitif (usually something unbearably sweet!). After the fireworks we are all given paper lanterns on bamboo sticks and we wind our way home by candlelight, absolutely lovely. Which part of the French calendar gives you the heebie-jeebies?
Fields of heaven. Photo by Viv Moingeon
A big thankyou to Jeff and Debbee Adamson for sharing their French Heaven and Hells with us. If you’d like to send us your highs and lows, we would love to hear from you. Please email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 27
Communications What happens to your digital life when you die?
eing brought up in a military family, death was something we were encouraged to face and prepare for. Joining and serving in the Royal Air Force reinforces this attitude and of course when you have a spouse and/or children you have to also consider - what happens if? So, we got wills together and of course the inevitable life insurance. Back then it was relatively easy as everything was on paper! If you or a loved one died or was seriously incapacitated, it was usually possible to put their affairs in order, close accounts etc. with the help of a good lawyer or executor service. Here is the problem However, in the last 20-30 years or so we have developed another side to our lives - a digital one. Even those without a computer, tablet or mobile smartphone have a digital footprint created by banks and governments and it is getting worse with two stage authorisations becoming the norm for digital banking and credit cards etc. Like it or not we have to have some kind of digital access even if it is only a mobile phone that receives the occasional verification code by text. Every year I have the displeasure of seeing on Facebook, a birthday reminder for a good friend who died over 15 years ago. I did, of course, the first few times/years, write to Facebook and advise them but nothing has changed. This is simply because I was not a relative or official and have no status, as far as Facebook are concerned, with his account. I also get asked to help clients to recover data from a PC etc. that belonged to a loved one who passed away. Even if it is just to get those last precious photos, let alone important legal or financial information. But what about your security I am forever advising people to keep their digital life secure, with strong passwords that must be kept safe and updated regularly, and also to keep this information strictly private. Unfortunately, that which is true in life is not so in death or indeed in the case of a serious debilitating illness, such as a stroke or dementia for example. Because the golden rule is ‘never share your passwords or pins with anyone’. The answer is to compromise the above security rule with a person you trust, preferably only one. In reality, we all know that in life people we trust can change and that the trust you had does not always last. What a dilemma, not an easy one to resolve, but resolve it you must. Possible Solutions Once you identify someone you trust (at present) you must consider that that trust will not necessarily always be there, after all not all relationships are for ever, are they?
28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
by Ross Hendry
My advice is to have an encrypted file or document in which you keep your passwords, pins, recovery email addresses or mobile telephone numbers etc. Advise the trusted person where to find the encrypted document, its name and decryption key, you do not even have to give them the document or file - just ensure that in the event they have easy access to it. In this case you only have one thing to change (the decryption key) if the trust with that individual is lost. My encrypted document solution is stored on a simple USB memory stick and kept in an easily accessible drawer; the encryption keeps it safe. Those of you who trust in a password manager service should check if they have some form of emergency access feature where you can name and identify your ‘trusted person’. Remember, password management software does not resolve all of your digital issues as they may not have bank or credit/store card pins. Things you must/must not do as the ‘truster’ Please do not leave a melange of confusing, encrypted, password protected digital nightmares. Do include access codes to mobile telephones, email addresses and online accounts, access passwords/pins for any hardware such as computers, tablets etc. If you do use face recognition or fingerprint scanning, or any biometric identification, ensure that there is an override if the correct password or pin is applied. Things to do for the ‘trusted person’ Finally, if you are the trusted person, do not be tardy in acting. As soon as an organisation or enterprise is advised of the death of an account holder, things may be frozen and not recoverable (for example a digital film, music or book collection that someone has purchased over the years), as the ownership of this data may cease when they die. Make sure you copy this to some offline medium before it is no longer available. Because we are not perfect, the person who trusted you may not have updated all of their passwords. This being the case a humble mobile telephone may be the only way to access someone’s email or other online account if they have not left you a password or pin. So, do not be in too much of a hurry to close or otherwise terminate the account as you may need it to use the lost password procedure. If you are not capable of doing this, ask someone trustworthy to help you, because too many attempts to access an account incorrectly will result in a lock out.
Ross Hendry is the proprietor of Interface Consulting and Engineering, who has over 44 years experience in communications, computer technology and direct marketing. (see advert below).
Letter from Blighty (August) Dear Frankie Last month’s ‘cloud of unknowing’ has lifted somewhat. We have a new prime minister, who seems set on a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU on 31 October ‘come what may’. In the meantime, he has apparently discovered a magic money tree and is promising vast sums to all quarters of the public service. Perhaps a general election may not be far behind? Djokovic won Wimbledon after a titanic struggle with Roger Federer. Serena Williams amazingly lost. The England cricket team won the World Cup but has now gone into deepest reverse by losing the first Ashes Test by 251 runs. The Proms, popular as ever, are in full swing. Oh, and we survived the hottest day ever earlier in the month. We are now past the equinox, the evenings are beginning to draw in and, though still mid-summer, the first hints of autumn can be seen (horse chestnuts ready to fall, geese honking around in the early evenings, gardens looking a bit tired). Here are some news items which only the sharp-eyed will have spotted. (a) Supplies of frankincense are in danger of collapse due to cattle farming, drought, war and rising demand. (b) On 30 July Selfridges opened their Christmas shop (only 149 days to go). (c) There have been more than 5000 bank closures since 2010, particularly in poorer areas. (d) A Vicar in Maidstone has announced a 4pm service on Sundays for those too hung-over to make it earlier. (e) Ethiopia are claiming a world record having planted 224 million trees in a single day (I wouldn’t want to be the person to check that claim). (f) Ben Nevis has become a slippery slope, as hikers on average leave some 300 banana skins behind them each week. (g) After 840 days, 73 games, and 300 goals conceded, Fort William, arguably the worst football team in the country, have finally won a game (5-2 against Nairn
County). (h) Nearly a third of children aged 5-11 have never visited a butcher’s shop and a quarter have never been to a greengrocer’s. And when asked what a high street was, a quarter of the children didn’t know. The French Government are getting anxious about the use of English words in their language, despite laws, widely flouted, against it. Diners, for instance, invariably refer to fast-food restaurants instead of ‘restovites’ - the official word - and football supporters talk about a penalty instead of the less than snappy ‘tir de reparation’. And on the subject of language, in a book of made-up compound German words produced in 2013, one gem was ‘hochkommakrankheit’ - a banal obsession with, or general confusion about, the deployment of apostrophes. Recent deaths have included John McCririck, aged 79, the flamboyant, irascible but very popular TV racing pundit. Notorious for always referring to his wife as ‘The Booby’ and for once being described by a TV critic as having ‘the charm of an armpit’. Ross Perot, aged 89, self-made Texan billionaire, who ran gamely but unsuccessfully twice for the American presidency. Hal Prince, aged 91, brilliant Broadway producer of musicals (West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, Evita) and winner of 29 Tony awards. My grandaughter Mia (22), visited me last week. She is a real live wire and wants to become a stand-up comic. To that end, she has done eight ‘open mic’ gigs so far and has been in the ‘clap off’ three times and won it once. She says it is absolutely terrifying. She writes her own material which is based on observational humour and one liners. I forgot to warn her off Freud’s theory on humour and to remind her of Ken Dodd’s opinion, “The trouble with Freud is that he never played the Glasgow Empire on a Saturday night”. A great man, Ken Dodd. Much missed. Yours Johnny
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 29
Food & Drink A Shortish Version of the Really, Really Long History of French Wine
Part 1 – Early Doors: whenever to 1000 AD
can just about conjure up the daily life of my grandparents in the early part of the 20th century. If I squint hard enough I can get a fleeting feel for the diurnal grind of my great grandparents in the latter half of the 19th, but beyond that I cannot visualise. Historical dramas, TV or movie, don’t help: clothes too clean, teeth too white, narrative too glib. The truth is the further we go back in time the less we know, no matter what historians, archaeologists and novelists might have us believe. This is hardly a stirring start to our journey but it is, as my American friends say, what it is. Nevertheless, we can deal profitably in broad brush strokes. Some things don’t change: we all have to eat, drink and labour. If you live in rural France, take your dog out for a walk just before sunrise. Even the farmers will still be abed, won’t have cleared the sleep from their eyes, their tractors buried in barns, and all you’ll hear is the sound of Nature, all you’ll feel is the earth’s exhalation. This is the land of our ancestors, as close as we can get to it. And when you get home for breakfast, continue the theme: eat some bread and drink well-water or better, much better, beer. Beer good! As difficult as it might be to believe, that was the motto of the early French peasantry - which is to say most of the population at that time. You don’t really believe that wine was a mainstay of French existence since time immemorial, dropping like ambrosia from cerulean skies do you? There was plenty of grain at hand and it was only a matter of time and chance before the glory of fermentation of said grain into beer was discovered. Now life was as it should be; spit roast, women, kids, beer. Then the bloody Romans pitched up. Sorry, that’s unfair, let me rephrase. Then the Romans invaded the country to expand their Empire to gain wealth and power at the expense of the native population and in so doing brought with them… vines1. Well, to be more precise, at the outset they brought with them their own wine from Italy. It’s hard to be away from home in a foreign place as any closet Brexiter knows. For the legionnaires and their civilian counterparts drinking beer was just too vulgar. Wine was sophisticated and civilising, not to mention it reminded you of mama and papa and all your mates in the ole forum. Ed Sheeran summed up the feeling poignantly when, in an episode of Desert Island Discs, he chose an endless supply of tomato ketchup as his luxury item. Exactly the same principle. It wasn’t too long, however, before the Roman invaders (sorry, residents) started to plant their own vines, specifically in regions where olives and figs grew: more northerly regions were not considered viable for viticulture. So, indigenous French wine production started in Provence, spreading out from the vital port of Massilia (Marseille) into the hinterland, then following the major trading route west through what we now know as Languedoc-Roussillon, and edging gingerly northward up the southern reaches of the Rhône. Indeed, there was enough to ship to the Pompeii region of Italy after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD interrupted local supply – probably the first significant export of French wine. A Roman edict of 212 AD allowed the locals (Celts) to own vineyards and so began the spread of wine production into the regions we know and love today: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Champagne. There almost seems to have been a wine fever with vines planted in Brittany and well north of Paris - areas which even with global warming are unsuitable for grape maturation. For now.
by John Sherwin
All good things come to an end. As the Roman Empire disintegrated, Gaul was overrun by all manner of Germanic invaders - Goths, Visigoths, Vandals, Franks… This is what happens with no quotas or border controls. But strangely enough the beer drinking marauders found they had a taste for wine too - far more likely they had a taste for inebriation - and so did not extend their desecrations to vineyards. By the 6th century most of Gaul was Christian. The development of viticulture and the spread of church entities, particularly monasteries, became entwined. Wine was not only symbolic in Christianity but also prosaic. It was used in Communion, but also formed part of the daily diet of monks and nuns. An 8th century monk, for example, was knocking back a couple of bottles of wine a day. The same of ale if wine was unavailable. Nuns consumed only a little less. When not the worst for wear, they continued to plant vineyards. As a general rule, monks might work half (or less) of their holding, the rest being leased to local tenants who paid rent in wine. The monks used perhaps 20% of their wine for Communion and for their own and visitors’ consumption, leaving the rest for sale. Similarly, the tenants consumed the wine they produced, but also retained quantities for resale. Here we see the beginnings of a real market in wine. (The mention of Communion is a bit of a red herring. At a sip-a-soul such consumption was negligible. By far the greatest amount went down the gullets of clergy and laity.) At the end of the 8th century the Carolingian Empire established a stable political system throughout most of France. Its first emperor, Charlemagne, encouraged wine production and proper levels of hygiene therein. An enduring testimony to him is the famous hill of Corton in Burgundy, part of which he donated to the nearby Abbey of Saulieu, and which is now known as Corton-Charlemagne, which produces an awesome white Grand Cru. The historian Pierre Riché described this era as one ‘obsessed with wine’. Latin-Germanic phrasebooks of the time began with the urgent ‘Give me a drink’, and hostelries were intrinsic parts of rural and urban areas. So, at the end of part one, we leave our ancestors in a jolly haze amidst developing wine production, consumption, and trade, both internal and external. Where will the story twist next? Gosh, I can hardly wait… Wine type of the month Now don’t all howl at once, but I’m nudging you towards Muscadet this month. Thin, acidic, tasteless waste of space, right? Can be, but not if you know where to look. Let’s quickly deal with the common confusion between Muscadet and Muscat. Muscat, to cut a very long story short, is a grape variety best known for sweet wines. The dry white wine Muscadet, produced around Nantes, is made from the grape melon de Bourgogne. It was introduced to the area by the Dutch in the 17th century as a base for distillation. The most significant appellation is Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine, referring to the two small rivers that run through the area. The fashion these days is for the wine to be left on its lees - sur lie. This adds flavour complexity and often a little residual CO2 giving a delicate spritz. A great match with seafood. I said you need to know where to look. I don’t hesitate to recommend Domaine Michel Brégeon in Gorges, near Clisson, south-east of Nantes. Michel has taken a long-earned retirement but the domaine remains in the very capable hands of Fred Lailler, a 37 year old native of Gorges. At less than 10€ a bottle you would be crazy not to try. Go to www.domainebregeon.com, or better still, go there.
________________________ 1 It’s generally accepted that the Greeks or even Phoenicians got here first
with their alien grape growing. Too far away in time, and too small scale, to bother us.
John Sherwin, French Wine Tours 07 50 90 02 00 or www.french-wine-tours.com www.bestfrenchwinetours.com 30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
Time to Celebrate by Jacqueline Brown
t was lovely to return to the familiarity of home following ten days visiting family in the UK. Ed survived our absence and more miraculously the dog, the birds and the garden survived under Ed’s care, although a few of the pots were at the point of needing resuscitating but we can forgive him that. Not ones to let the grass grow under our feet, we had a few fun days of family bonding as hoes, mowers and strimmers were all summoned into action to tame the potager, lawn and orchard. I’m never happier than when I’m pottering in the veggie garden picking my courgettes. I feared for my harvest this year as we were too late with the weeding to plant out on time, then it was too cold for them to grow, followed by too hot to do much at all. I certainly won’t have a problem of too many courgettes, but then I believe you can never have too many, and at least we are now enjoying our daily salad with added spiralised courgette. When we have finished the fruit cake my Mum always makes for our return journey, I might even treat Ed to the first courgette and chocolate brownie of the season. If you have a glut of courgettes, there are plenty of recipe ideas on my blog. Ten days of red brick and city busyness really made me appreciate the rural peace and soft-stoned buildings of home and the longer I am in France, the more foreign the UK and especially its supermarket experience seems to get. We returned to France just in time to celebrate fifteen years of French village life. An occasion that we should have marked with a party, had I been organised enough to think about planning one before we set off. We did however treat ourselves to a visit to Melle market to stock up on what we believe to be the essentials of a French summer, moules and melons, plus
a rich and buttery palmier from the patisserie to enjoy with our coffees on the terrace of the café; a much nicer shopping experience than at the Asda. We were also delighted to be invited to help Anna and Steve celebrate the 100th issue of ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’, something I’m proud to have been a small part of for 87 of the 100 issues. The weather held out, the atmosphere was warm and friendly, the food delicious and it was great to finally meet Anna and Steve as well as catch up with a few familiar faces too. Tucked away in the bottom tip of the Deux-Sèvres, it is not often we visit the north of the department, so our trip to Louin meant we could reacquaint ourselves with places we haven’t seen since Sarah, Rob, Adrian and I madly cycled our way around the department on the Tour de Rêves back in September 2017. Writing for ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ has certainly given me lots of happy memories over the years.
www.frenchvillagediaries.com Email: email@example.com
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 31
A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres
by Sue Burgess
aint-Germain-de-Longue-Chaume is situated in the heart of the Gâtine just a few kilometres from Parthenay, along the road from Parthenay to Clessé. The commune has a surface area of 14,63km2. The ground is granite rock. Several streams and small rivers flow through the commune and they are all tributaries of the Thouet. The main one of these is the Cébron. Saint-Germain-deLongue-Chaume is at an altitude of 206 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the communes of Fénery, Amailloux and Adilly. The first known name of the commune in the 13th century was Saint-Germain. In 1396 it was known as Saint-Germain-en-Gâtine and by 1648 Saint-Germain-de-Longue-Chaume. The word chaume comes from the Latin word calamus meaning stalk of wheat. There is also perhaps another reason for the origin of the name Longuechaume. According to the Dictionnaire Géographique et Historique, the priory, having been situated in the village for many years, made a donation of 4 000 francs to help families who had a thatched roof (une chaume) on their farm, have a tiled roof fitted instead. Saint Germain was born in Autun at the end of the 5th century. He was councillor to King Chilpéric, and became Bishop of Paris in 556. In 558 he founded the monastery of Saint-Vincent, near Paris and he was buried here when he died in 576. He became known as Saint-Germain-des-Prés. When King Clotaire wanted to marry Radegonde, the nun, she asked Germain to intervene to prevent the marriage. He failed. History: The priory of Saint Germain was built in 1284. It depended on the Archpriest of Parthenay, the Count of Les Mottes and the castellany of La Chapelle-Saint-Laurent
by Sue Burgess
The old 12th century priory was situated in the lower part of the town, near to where the cemetery is today. A wall in which the position of the stained glass windows can be seen, is still standing. In the 18th century the old church was considered to be too small and too far from the main part of the town and so, under the pressure of Abbé Rousseau, the priest, the building of the current church began on 10 September 1893 when the first stone was blessed. The construction took a year and the church was consecrated on 4 October 1894. The crucifix was transferred to the new church as were statues of Sainte Marthe and Saint Germain. In 1973 the main altar was moved forward to the entrance of the choir. Different town councils have come to understand and appreciate the value of the existence of this building and have voted to upkeep it, both outside and inside. The whole church has recently been renovated and decorated. There are several cattle and sheep farms in the commune, a garage, a beef restaurant (serving Parthenaise beef) open only at lunchtimes. La Parth’ de Bœuf (a play on words une part - a portion and Parthenaise - the race of beef cattle) has a reputation for good quality meat and as offering good value for money. The Funny Farm Cat Rescue Association is situated at Le Grand Beau Puits. The name of the farm could have come from a large well (un grand puits) or it could be a variation of Beaupuy - the beautiful hill. The association takes in abandoned cats and kittens, and after veterinary care if necessary, the cats and kittens are put up for adoption and fostering. The association is open on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm - 4pm and people are welcome to call in, meet the cats, have a coffee and perhaps even buy something at the association shop.
In 1812 there were two wine merchants in the commune. In 1883 there was an argument between the school teacher and the village priest because the priest was teaching catechism during school hours. The population of the commune was 351 in 1831, today it is about 440.
Saint-Germain church (right photo), entrance to the Funny Farm Cat Rescue (centre) and the cross with statues of Sainte Marthe and Saint Germain (photos by Sue Burgess)
32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
More A-Z of the Communes of Deux-Sèvres next month...
FIND the CHEAPEST FUEL prices in your area. This government run website provides comparative petrol and diesel prices in all areas of France. Just simply select your department from the map, and voilĂ !
The Deux-SĂ¨vres Monthly, September 2019| 33
Health, Beauty & Fitness Everyday Yoga for Everyone
by Rebecca Novick
Putting Your ‘Yoga Foot’ Down Yoga increases proprioception (also called kineasthesia) - the awareness of how the body moves and is held in space. The greater our proprioception the more we can move and hold our bodies in ways that keep us healthy, balanced and resilient. A great place to begin to increase our proprioception is with the feet, since the placement of our feet affects our entire body, from our knees to the pelvis and spine, all the way up to the neck and head. When we wear closed shoes, or even socks, we block our ability to develop this awareness, so I highly recommend that you practice barefoot. First of all, discover your own habitual foot stance with the following exercise.
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Stand tall but not stiff, arms relaxed to the sides, with a lifted straight spine. Don’t bend or lock the knees. Your feet can be together or slightly apart but make sure that the toes of both feet are in line. Bring your awareness to your feet. Roll them a little inwards onto the inner arches and then outwards onto the outer arches a few times. What feels more natural? Now bring the weight back into your heels as far as you can while keeping the toes on the floor, and then forward towards the balls of the feet keeping your heels down. Again, check what feels more natural to you. Notice how when you put more weight on the heel it increases pressure on the lumbar, and when you lean forward on the balls of the feet you lose the natural curve of the lumbar spine. Standing on the inner feet will internally rotate the hips, which can, over time, lead to ‘knock-knees’. Standing more on your outer feet will strain the outer knees and can lead to bowed legs. Now take a few moments to divide your weight evenly between the heels and the balls, then between the inner and outer arches. Gently spread and then lengthen the metatarsals by spreading and lengthening the toes. Imagine a circle around your feet and then balancing the weight of the feet within this circle. Now lift up subtly through the insides and outsides of your feet keeping the four corners of the feet on the floor. Feel the lift of inner arches all the way into the inner ankles. You might notice a subtle lift of the thighs and the backs of the calves as you do this. Some people even feel that they’re in danger of falling over backwards when they begin to stand in balance. With a bit of practice you can develop your ‘Yoga Foot’, heighten the sensory feedback through your entire nervous system, and learn how to hold your ground. Literally! Classes held Fridays at 10:30am in central Parthenay For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Rebecca on www.facebook.com/groups/lavieenyoga
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OF THE MONTH 34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
Our Furry Friends hope association charity shops helping animals in need
café • bric à brac • books dvds & cds • clothes • furniture
hope 79 • sauzé-vaussais 17 route de civray 79190 sauzé-vaussais open every thursday & 1st sunday of each month, 10am - 4pm
@ email@example.com • Good quality donations of clothes, books and bric-à-brac are always welcome
firstname.lastname@example.org • www.hopeassoc.org • N°RNA W792002789
Leon is a beautiful, lively three-yearold spaniel x who loves to play with other dogs. He’s a cheeky chappy who learns quickly, would love a playmate and plenty of space to run around. Leon is good in the house and car, and although he’s a bit hesitant meeting new people, he loves everyone once he knows them. Please get in touch if you’d like to meet Leon, who’s currently in foster in the Ruffec area of department 16.
Phoebe Meet Phoebe. She is a long-haired white and tabby little girl. Abandoned with her family of five brothers, two of which have recently been adopted. She has been tested negative for FIV and FeLV and has had her first vaccinations. She is microchipped, full of energy and puts her brothers in their place. Contact us at: Facebook - The Funny Farm Cat Rescue, email: email@example.com or tel: 06 49 28 32 45 if you are interested in adopting her. We have many cats and kittens waiting for adoption, we are open every Wednesday afternoon 2pm-4pm where you can see the cats, support us by buying things in our large sales room or have a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. We look forward to seeing you all soon. Le Grand Beaupuits, 79200, Staint-Germain-de-Longue-Chaume Association number W793001884. www.facebook.com/The-Funny-Farm-Cat-Rescue
The Association En Route tel: 07 69 18 56 81 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website: www.assoenroute.com
This 18-month-old labrador is a very affectionate girl, used to being around other dogs. She will need a home where she has a life as part of the family, or couple, not to be left out in the garden 24/7! She is microchipped, neutered and vaccinated with a passport and is in foster in department 49. If you think you could give Hanna a home, then please contact us.
The Assocation Orfée tel: 09 77 48 71 43 or by email: email@example.com www.facebook.com/OrfeeInEnglish/ The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 35
Building & Renovation
36 | The Deux-SĂ¨vres Monthly, September 2019
DON’T FORGET OUR DEADLINE!
OF THE MONTH
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 37
38 | The Deux-SÃ¨vres Monthly, September 2019
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1 Day 130€, 2 Days 220€, 7 Days 700€ 12 Mtr Cherry Picker 110€ per day Laser Level 30€ per day Wacker Plate 60kg 20€ per day 3 inch petrol water pump 30€ per day Concrete Breaker Digger Attachment Available Digger & Driver Available Phone FR: 06 10 43 96 16 UK : 07753822265 www.hileylocations.com Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Siret : 840 226 666 00013
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 39
40 | The Deux-SÃ¨vres Monthly, September 2019
Business & Finance Marketing Matters
if you know you have solved a problem for someone, contact them and ask them questions about how your product helped them. Then ask for their permission to use their experience as an example. This is a kind of case study, but you also have the endorsement of a satisfied customer. Adverts on shopping channels are all about satisfied customers telling you how wonderful a product is and how it helped them. It’s a tried and tested method. So, give it a go!
by Cindy Mobey
Benefit your small business with content marketing
re you frustrated with your business? You’ve done your plan, you’ve set up your website and now you’re waiting for the business to roll in. Does this ring a bell with you? Well, that’s not going to happen unless you reach out to your customers and potential customers, and let them know who you are and what you do. The success of your business is dependent on how many people know about it and your power to convince them that they should invest. But how? “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action,” says The Content Marketing Institute - an online resource for information on everything marketing related. So, the answer to “But how?” is promotion. The key message in the statement is ‘valuable, relevant and consistent’; you need to be able to speak to your customers when promoting your business. A big part of that is knowing your target market. Are your products/services aimed at a specific market, such as younger people, older people, office workers, beauty salons etc.? If you know who your potential customers are (your target market), you can tailor your business promotion to them. Solve a problem If you can solve a problem that your customers have with your products or services, then you need to let them know about it. Write about it on your website, your social media pages, in your newsletter etc. It doesn’t have to be an informative article either…
Enhance your brand If someone buys your product, follow up a couple of weeks later to see if they like it and why? Ask them to put a recommendation on your social media page/website or if they’d like to receive your newsletter giving them new product/service information, offers and special promotions. This keeps you in contact with your customer and enhances your brand, showing you not only as a caring seller, but also an expert in your field. Don’t ignore negative feedback! Contact that person immediately to find out why they made the comment and try and resolve any issue. It might be that they simply didn’t like a particular product or a service they chose didn’t give them what they thought it would. If you can offer them a refund or an alternative, they will appreciate you taking the time to do so. Often negative comments can be turned around to positive ones. And if you do this, ask the customer to put another comment on your site or social media page. Content marketing is cheaper than other forms of marketing Research and write your content yourself if you can, it is more economical. You’ll also learn from the research you do and have a better understanding of what your customers want. When someone really likes your products and they feel that you value their custom, they are more likely to recommend you to their family and friends and to also come back to you again and again. Good luck and happy marketing!
Contact Cindy Mobey Tel: 05 45 31 13 86 ~ Email: email@example.com
FREE ENTRY TO THE DSM ONLINE BUSINESS DIRECTORY
Simply register on our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 41
ALLIANZ OBSEQUE-FUNERAL COVER by Isabelle Want
orry to be gloomy this month but here is one of our most popular policies which gives a lump sum to beneficiaries of your choice to help them pay for your funeral. Funnily enough, we all have house insurance in case our house burns down, but not all of us have life insurance when we are pretty certain we are all going to die! So, if you don’t have big savings, this is a must have contract. Unless you don’t like the person who is going to pay for the funeral ! Criteria for subscribing: Anybody aged between 50-84 years old and who is French resident. No health questionnaire. How much can you be insured for: Between 3 000€ - 10 000€ without a health questionnaire. The average cost for a funeral in France is around 3 000€ - 4 000€. Cremation and burial are about the same. The lump sum you are insured for follows inflation because 3 000€ today might not be worth the same in 10 years! How does it work: The lump sum you are insured for is given to the funeral directors (on presentation of the bill) or to the person who has paid for the funeral (presentation of the bill paid) and what is left is given to the beneficiaries you have named on the policy. You are not covered for illness or suicide in the first year, but you are insured for death by accident straight away. If you die of an illness in the first year, the insurance company reimburses the amount you have paid in. It is not like a normal insurance whereby if you stop paying your premium you stop being insured.
Conclusion: It is a popular contract and one we have never any problem with. There is no cheating with it, you are either dead or alive! So, no expert required! And no argument from the insurance company for paying! The payment is given very quickly once we have the death certificate, funeral bill and the ID of the beneficiary (within 10 days). For free quotes, all I need is your date of birth and the amount you wish to be insured for. To do the contract, I need passport copies, a RIB (French bank details) and the list of beneficiaries (date of birth, place of birth, name, maiden name and first name). And remember to check out our website www.bh-assurances.fr/ en for all my previous articles (‘practical information’) and register to receive our monthly Newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook: Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et Romain Lesterpt Don’t hesitate to contact me for any other information or quote on subjects such as funeral cover, inheritance law, investments, car, house, professional and top-up health insurance, etc.
You receive a statement every year showing three figures: • The first one shows how much you are insured for and it follows inflation. • The second how much you are insured for if you stop paying the premium. • The last figure is how much is available if you want to shut down the policy completely. That means that if you are still alive after ten or 15 years, you can afford to stop paying the premium as you will already have enough cover. Or if one of you dies and the survivor of the couple wants to go back to the UK, you can cash in the value of your policy (amount shown on the third line of the yearly statement). How much does it cost: As an example, a person born in 1947 and insured for 3 000€ would pay around 24€ per month and we offer a 10% discount for couple subscriptions (so then only 22€ each per month). For 5 000€, it’s around 40€ and 10 000€ it’s 80€ (for couples, 36€ each for 5 000€ and 72€ each for 10 000€).
No Orias: 07004255
BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures 16700 Ruffec
Contact Isabelle Want: Tel: 05 45 31 01 61 Mob: 06 17 30 39 11
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website: www.bh-assurances.fr
Useful English Language Numbers... Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres
06 40 77 27 35
French State health insurance advice line
08 11 36 36 46
09 69 36 39 00
EDF International Customer Service
05 62 16 49 08
CLEISS (Social security advice between countries)
01 45 26 33 41
Funeral Information (AFIF)
01 45 44 90 03 or www.afif.asso.fr
0044 300 222 0000
SOS Helpline English speaking service (affiliated to the Samaritans)
01 46 21 46 46 (daily 3pm-11pm)
42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
by Amanda Johnson
i Amanda, is there a right time to have a financial review?
This is a good question! As some of us will have just waved farewell to family and friends who have visited during the summer, and others have endured the last minute frantic search for items necessary for the school rentrée, the relative calm of September is a good time to look ahead and ensure that your finances are as tax efficient as possible and meet your current requirements. If it has been a while since you last reviewed your financial situation, then now is probably a good time to visit your financial adviser, or if you have recently arrived in France, to find one who is regulated here and who understands the local laws and regulations. You may have changed circumstances, got married or started a new career. Perhaps your health is different and your long term views have changed, or you could be looking at planning for your retirement. All these things can have an impact on previous financial decisions, so reviewing them allows you to ensure that your money is working most effectively for you. Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our roadshow events or speak to me directly, please call or email on the contacts below and I will be glad to help. We do not charge for our financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations.
Brain Gym: 1. A carrot 2. Nothing 3. Tilly. She seems to follow the scale Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, and then Ti. 4. 110 miles. (73037) 5. He is playing Monopoly 6. Grape Rape Ape Rap 7. When you are looking at a clock 8. a) Two steps forward, one step back b) All for one and one for all
Amanda Johnson Tel: 05 49 98 97 46 or 06 73 27 25 43 E-mail: email@example.com www.spectrum-ifa.com/amanda-johnson
Toughie Crossword: Theme - the four answers around the outside of the grid refer to ‘drinking’; not only in the alcoholic sense. Across: 1. not my cup of tea 8. nouns 9. lambada 10. bod 11. edges near 13. treads 14. get off 17. ivory haul 19. ish 20. Eritrea 22. brand 23. saloon keeping Down: 1. non abstainers 2. trundle 3. yesterday 4. ullage 5. ohm 6. trade 7. a hair of the dog 12. spellable 15. origami 16. damask 18. oriel 21. Rio Easy Crossword: Across: 1. towbar 4. elated 8. attic 9. tallest 10. colic 11. Avignon 12. Chevrolet 15. harmful 16. chard 17. achieve 18. nanny 19. arrest 20. mosaic Down: 2. option 3. British Empire 5. at loggerheads 6. Euston 7. steamroller 13. saucer 14. Brunei
Take a Break - SOLUTIONs
The Spectrum IFA Group is fully regulated to offer financial advice in France and we do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.
FILMS IN ENGLISH.....
look for screenings in ‘VO’ or ‘VOST’ Bressuire Le Fauteuil Rouge: www.lefauteuilrouge.fr CineChef, Chef-Boutonne: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Salle Belle Epine, La Châtaigneraie: email@example.com L’échiquier at Pouzauges: www.echiquier-paysdepouzauges.fr Melle cinema: www.lemelies-melle.info Niort CGR cinema: www.cgrcinemas.fr/niort/# Niort Moulin du Roc: www.moulinduroc.asso.fr Parthenay Cinema: www.cinema.foyer.cc-parthenay.fr/foyer and find others at www.allocine.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 43
by Bradley Warden, Blevins Franks
How to make things easier for your family and heirs M any people avoid discussing the practical implications of their death, but if your affairs are not in order, your family may face unnecessary costs and delays during that difficult time.
Power of Attorney Granting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA or “mandat de protection future” in France) legally enables someone to make decisions about your property, finances and/or your health and welfare if you are unable to do so; it is particularly important when faced with a deteriorating mental state. The person(s) you appoint can help manage your bank accounts, property, investments and pensions, and/or decisions about your health. If you become mentally incapacitated without an LPA/mandat in force, an application to the UK Court of Protection/French courts would have to be made whenever anything needed to be decided regarding your assets - a costly and time-consuming process for your loved ones. Your will Check this is up to date, taking into account major life events like moving house, getting married/divorced, and welcoming new family members. You may find it beneficial to have two wills - one for assets in France and a UK one for British-based assets. These should align and crossreference each other to avoid conflict. While a UK will can be effective in France, after going through the UK probate process it must be translated and notarised before going through probate here, so separate wills can prevent delays and expense.
The EU regulation ‘Brussels IV’ makes it possible to avoid French ‘forced heirship’ rules by nominating in your will for the relevant UK succession law to apply, but take advice as this can have unforeseen implications. Pensions paperwork When first setting up your pension, you specify who will inherit your benefits through ‘expression of wish’ or ‘nominated beneficiary’ forms, but many people forget to update these over time. If there is confusion or a dispute over who should receive your benefits, usually the Trustee of your pension will make the final decision. Your pensions paperwork and will(s) should therefore be current and aligned with each other. Tax planning While the France/UK double taxation treaty specifies that only UK assets are liable to UK inheritance tax, residents of France are liable for succession tax on their worldwide estate, including pensions. An extra gift you can leave heirs is structuring your estate to protect them from unnecessary taxation, so explore French-compliant opportunities that provide tax advantages during your lifetime as well as for your beneficiaries. Cross-border estate planning is complex and every family is different, so your approach should be personalised for your objectives and unique situation to secure peace of mind, for you and your heirs. Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change. Individuals should seek personalised advice. Keep up to date on the financial issues that may affect you on the Blevins Franks news page at www.blevinsfranks.com
Estate planning in France. Will the right money go to the right hands at the right time? Succession tax can be high in France and its forced heirship laws are restrictive. The European Certificate of Succession comes with pitfalls; there are other options but care must be taken. Contact Blevins Franks for a review of your estate planning and advice on how you can have control and certainty.
Talk to the people who know
05 49 75 07 24
I N T E R N A T I O N A L T A X A D V I C E • I N V E S T M E N T S • E S T AT E P L A N N I N G • P E N S I O N S Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Distribution Directive or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks Trustees Limited is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority for the administration of trusts and companies. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as ‘Conseil en Investissements Financiers’ and ‘Courtiers d’Assurance’ Category B (register can be consulted on www.orias.fr). Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: 1 rue Pablo Neruda, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA). Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.
44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
Property DON’T FORGET OUR DEADLINE!
OF THE MONTH
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019| 45
by Joanna Leggett
he skirl of the bagpipes is something anyone like me with Scots blood will relish. It’s not the sound one might expect to hear emanating from an ancient château in the heart of Deux-Sèvres! But this is exactly what happens in June each year in the ancient town of Bressuire. Who could have dreamed back in 1991 when they first twinned with Fraserburgh in Scotland this would happen? But happen it did - the first ‘Highland Games’ was held to mark the fifth anniversary of twinning, since 2006 it has become an annual event! Of course Highland Games were originally organised by local chieftains - training for battle and fighting - today it’s best known for those held each year at Ballater in the Scottish Highlands, at which the Queen is always seen. The Bressuire games continue each year to grow in popularity and size - so much so local competitors now wear kilts. A specially created Bressuire tartan has a white stripe on blue background for Fraserburgh, wine-red for Anjou wine, green for the landscape and a golden stripe for local stone. Tossing the caber and other unusual competitions have now been introduced to France - there is much music (a dozen or so pipe bands!) as well as Scottish country dancing. However Bressuire participants differ in one respect to traditional Scottish kilt wearers shorts worn underneath are de rigueur here! If you’re thinking of joining in the fun next year, we’ve selected three local properties to tempt you! The first is a charming, wellmaintained ‘faux château’ in the heart of Bressuire (Leggett reference 102933, photo left). Built back in the ‘50s this seven bedroom property has been well
maintained and there’s an elegant feel to large rooms which open off its grand entrance hall. With a new roof and guttering, town gas and solar-powered shutters, this grand home is ready for you to add your personal touch - with its generous peaceful garden it could make a wonderful B&B or fabulous large family home - 461,604€. South of Bressuire in Chanteloup this spacious and light family home (ref. 94648) is an easy walk to the village. Its rustic exterior belies a beautiful modern interior with three ensuite bedrooms - one on the ground floor could be ideal for B&B. There’s a new kitchen and spacious living areas on both levels. Outside the great garden has amazing views over the countryside, large in-ground pool and summer house. Great living at 162,000€. Largeasse is 17km from Bressuire and here we have a former water mill (ref. 90314) set in lovely countryside which still retains many original features including beamed ceilings. The kitchen boasts the bread oven which once supplied the local village. Character and charm exude from every room, there are four bedrooms with room to create more. Outside there is, of course, the millstream as well as a covered swimming pool. A bridge over the river takes you to a fishing lake. The property extends to 29320m2, your own kingdom on the market for 315,650€. Joanna Leggett is marketing director at Leggett Immobilier – you can view their full portfolio of properties for sale in France at
Ref 87310EVI79 Large 19thC property set in an idyllic location, with 33 rooms and 3600m² of land. DPE C - agency fees to be paid by the seller
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST Buying or selling a property? Contact us now!
Ref 103777DTH79 Four-bed house including a 1-bed gîte, with large garden and outbuildings. DPE N/A - agency fees included : 7 % TTC to be paid by the buyer
Ref 103906ABO79 Beautifully renovated 2-bed
Ref 92571TLO79 South-facing 4-bed riverside
Ref 103434AEN79 Charming 3-bed house in a
Ref 103557MB79 Beautifully renovated 3-bed
house with courtyard, garden, and outbuilding.
house with large garden, set in the heart of the town.
calm location, with 1648m² of land, above ground pool.
cottage, in a small hamlet close to all amenities.
DPE N/A - agency fees included : 9 % TTC to be paid by the buyer
DPE D - agency fees included : 7 % TTC to be paid by the buyer
DPE C - agency fees included : 7 % TTC to be paid by the buyer
DPE E - agency fees to be paid by the seller
Be a part of our award winning team If becoming an independent property sales agent interests you, contact Head of Recruitment Lorraine Deuré:
05 53 60 82 77 - firstname.lastname@example.org
+33 (0)5 53 56 88 48 - www.leggettfrance.com - email@example.com 46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2019
English language magazine for the Deux-Sevres and surrounding areas