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Grand Prix racers 2010, Bressuire Photograph by Rachel JABOT-FERREIRO.


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY Welcome to Issue 5 of ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’. Well, a big thank you to all of you who joined in with last month’s rain dance! The water butts are full and the veggies have perked up......so can we stop now please?! June was a busy month and my husband Rob and I were able to get out to lots of the events in the area. The Royal British Legion day was a huge success, and even though the weather was against us, the friendly game of cricket & Hog Roast in Pamplie was a lot of fun too... I even hit a 4! It’s been wonderful to meet so many of you and I hope to meet many more soon. Enjoy your July en France. If you need to contact us, please email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr. Tel: 05 49 70 26 21.

Sarah.

Annual Subscription. If you would like to receive a copy of ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’magazine by post each month, please complete this form and send to La Bartière, 79130 Secondigny. Please enclose a cheque to cover postage for the year.

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

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol 115 Homeless 119 Child Abuse

© Sarah Berry 2011. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. While care is taken to ensure that articles and features are accurate, Sarah Berry accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction. The opinions expressed and experiences shared are given by individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the publisher. Please ensure you verify that the company you are dealing with are a registered trading company in France and/or elsewhere. <<The Deux-Sèvres Monthly>> est édité par Sarah Berry, La Bartière, 79130, Secondigny. Tél: 05 49 70 26 21. Directeur de la publication et rédacteur en chef: Sarah Berry. Crédits photos: Sarah Berry et clker.com. Impression: Imprimerie Jadault, 46 rue du Bocage-BP405, 79306 Courlay Cedex. Dépôt légal: Juillet 2011 - Tirage: 4 000 exemplaires. Siret: 515 249 738 00011 ISSN: 2115-4848

CONTENTS What’s On.............................................................................3 Our Furry Friends................................................................7 The Great Outdoors.............................................................8 Health, Beauty & Fitness..................................................10 French Adventures............................................................13 French Life, Food & Drink................................................15 Getting Out & About..........................................................18 Communications.................................................................24 Building & Renovation.......................................................25 Business, Finance & Property..........................................28 Take a break..............................................................7 & 15 THIS MONTH’S ADVERTISERS A La Bonne Vie (Restaurant)............................................ 13 Ace Pneus (Tyre Supplier & Fitter)..................................19 A.I.P. (Estate Agent)......................................................... 31 AKE Petits Travaux (Builder).......................................... 26 Allez Francais (Estate Agent).......................................... 31 Andrew Longman (Plumber)............................................. 26 Andy Melling (Artisan Joiner/Cabinet Maker)................. 25 An English Nursery in France (Garden Centre).................8 Antiquities Decoration & Galerie du 309......................... 22 Aquaclean............................................................................ 8 Articulation Aide (Joint Aid for Dogs)................................ 7 Bar Oasis - Camping la Raudiere..................................... 15 Belle Maison Construction................................................ 25 Blevins Franks Financial Management Ltd...................... 29 Cafe Cour du Miracle....................................................... 15 Cailin Deas (Clothing Outlet).............................................21 Centre de Beauregard...................................................... 6 Christies (English Book Shop and Tea Room)................. 21 Courlay Immobilier SARL (Estate Agent).........................32 Dave Allen (Garden Maintenance)...................................... 8 Dave Rosenberg (Carpenter).............................................27 Dean Smalley (Gardening & cleaning Services)................ 9 DJ Maintenance -David Normanton (Handyman).............28 Diane & Franck (Fabrics and Curtains)............................21 Diane Lowe (Reiki Healer)............................................... 10 EBRS (Builders)................................................................ 27 Energy 79...........................................................................26 English Spoken.info (Online Business Directory).............. 4 Facilitutors - Wendy Wise (Courses)............................. 21 Futuroscope,..................................................................... 20 Garage Pigeau Patrick (Mechanic)................................... 19 Gentle Touch Beauty........................................................ 10 Glyn Chubb (Carpenter/Joiner)........................................ 27 Go Paintball....................................................................... 19 Hair by Janet (Hairdresser and Avon Sales).....................11 Hallmark Electronique (Electricians & Sat. Engineers).. 26 Imprimerie Jadault (Printer)............................................ 2 Indulgence Beauty............................................................... 11 Janet Hall (Translator & Interpreter)............................... 31 Jardin Deco (Garden Ornaments)........................................9 John Etherington (Property Care).......................................8 Julie’s Cleaning Services................................................. 28 L.A. Building & Renovation................................................. 28 La Boite Delicieuse (Outdoor Catering)........................... 15 La Joie de Vivre (Gift Shop & Tea Room).......................... 21 Le Dragon (Bar/Snack)......................................................16 Leggett Immobilier (Estate Agent).................................. 29 Le Grand Galerie.............................................................. 22 Le Logis (Pig Breeders and Chambre d’hote)...................15 Le Puy Remorques (Trailer Hire & Sales)......................... 18 London Road.......................................................................22 Mad Hatter’s Kitchen......................................................... 6 MS Electrique (Electrician)............................................... 27 Mutuelle de Poitiers (Insurance)......................................... 19 Nathan Foster Building Services..................................... 28 Olivers Multiservice Habitation........................................ 25 Pamela Irving (Massage & Reflexology)............................. 11 PDG European Deliveries................................................. 19 Pescalis markets............................................................... 4 Peter Hardie (Mini Digger hire)........................................26 Philip Irving (Mini Digger hire)............................................ 27 Plombiere Anglais en France (Plumber)...........................26 Poitou Property Services................................................. 28 Premier Autos - Mike Lane (Mechanic)............................19 RDK Roofing & Building Services.................................... 26 Restaurant du Lac............................................................. 14 Rita Sullivan.......................................................................21 Rob Berry (Plasterer)....................................................... 28 Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering)........ 24 Rysz Dor-Vincent (Yoga)..................................................11 Sandy G (Hairdresser)...................................................... 10 sarl Down to Earth (Groundwork & Construction).......... 27 Siddalls (Financial Advisors)............................................ 28 Steve Enderby.................................................................. 25 Sue Burgess (French Courses & Translation)....................5 Tara’s Mobile Hairdressing.............................................. 10 The English Mechanic - Tony Eyre................................ 19 Trisha Mobile Hairdresser............................................... 11 Total Renovation Services................................................ 25 UK Building Materials....................................................... 27 Vendée Pools.................................................................... 30 We shop Britain 4 u...........................................................21 page 2


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What’s On....July 2011 29th June - 3rd July - Jazz Festival 2011 Four days of concerts and musical events in and around Parthenay. For more information please see: www.lejazzbatlacampagne.com All of July - Photographic Exhibition. Jardin Val de Flore, in Soutiers. Photos of extraordinary plants of Kew Gardens by Bernard de Litardière. Free entry. Open Weds-Sunday afternoons. For more info: 05 49 63 43 31 2nd July - Tea Party in aid of Marie Curie Cancer. 11am-4pm at ‘The Mad Hatter’s Kitchen’, 79190, Caunay. 2nd July - Concert by local and visiting Californian Choirs. 8pm at Foussais Payre Church. Tickets 10€. Proceeds to go to Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres & Vendée and the Anglican Church in Vendée. Contact: polly.ward@aliceadsl.fr 2nd & 3rd July - 6th Annual Classic Car Grand Prix Two day event held in Bressuire, Browse the classic cars and watch them race the streets! 3rd July - British Day at Maillé. Located at Le Port, Maillé. From 11am. 20 stalls, Fish & Chips and live music by French Connection. See page 6 for more information. 5th July - Book Signing Peter Hoskins, author of ‘In the Steps of the Black Prince’ (see May edition page 4) will be signing copies of his book from 10.00 to 13.00 at La Grande Galerie, 7 rue du Temple, 86400 CIVRAY. 8th July - Live Music Night. ‘Deja Vu’ will be playing live music at Dixieland Cafe, Verteuil sur Charente, nr Ruffec at approx 8pm. Full restaurant facilities. 9th July - English Market. 8.30am - 1pm au Tusson. (16). 9th July - Hope Association Garden Fete. 6 Place du Puits, 79380, La Ronde. (Between Moncoutant & St Pierre du Chemin). New & nearly new clothes, Plants, Books, Cakes, Tombola, Phoenix Cards, Refreshments. 12noon-4pm. Contact Sharon Goddard on 05 49 65 21 28 if you have anything that you would like to donate for the event. 15th July - Live Music Night. ‘Troublador’ will be playing at ‘La Cabane de Vouhe’, Vouhe, 79310 Lovely bar/restaurant offering great food and live music. Tel: 05 49 72 81 56 16th July - International Market Day and Vide Grenier. At Gourgé, 79200. If you would like to participate in the day's activities please contact Noel Deryckere on 05 49 63 36 41 or email: com.fetes.gourge79@orange.fr. All kinds of products are welcome except restaurant food and bar activities 3rd weekend July (16/17th) - Activities for the English! The tourist information office and village of St Mothe-St-Héray organise different events for the English on this weekend in July. Events include: Collection of British cars, English breakfast, English produce market, tug of war, cricket, football, a brief history of our countries amongst others. For more info, please call 05 49 05 19 19. 24th July - Horse & Dog Fun Show. From 9am at Centre de Beauregard, 86250. Lots of fun for all the family. For more information, see advert on page 6 or go to the website: www.centredebeauregard.com 24th July - School Fund-raiser at St Cyr des Gâts. From 5pm. Includes cycle race, various stalls, tombola, games for the children and crepes. Evening Dinner is available at 14€ per person and the party continues into the night. All welcome!

Books in English, Paperback Jan. 1st July: Bar de la Paix, Thouars 12h-14h 1st July: Le Tipsy Bar, Coulonges-sur-L’Autize 16h-18h 3rd July: British Day at Maillé. 11am onwards. 4th July: Le Dragon bar, Vernoux-en-Gatine. 14h-17h 5th July: Le Zinc bar, Vasles. 10.30h-13h 6th July: Cafe Cour de Miracle, Vouvant. 14h-16.30h 7th July: Bar Le Palais, St. Aubin le Cloud. 14h-17h 7th July: Le Chaudron, Chantemerle. 18h-20h 8th July: Jan’s home, La Ferriére-en-Parthenay, 11h-16h. 9th July: Cafe Le Chauray, St Maixent L’Ecole, 10h-14h 13th July: Le Trois Marie, Airvault. 10h-13h 14th July: Bar Le Commerce, La Chataigneraie 14.30-17h 27th July: La Joie de Vivre, Moncoutant, 14h-17h For more info contact Jan on: 06 08 30 73 29 or email: paperbackjan@gmail.com La Vendee Chippy ~ Traditional Fish & Chips in France! Every Wednesday (July 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th) Bar ‘Auberge le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges.18h-20hr Every Thursday (July 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th) Bar ‘La Rando’, Mervent. 18h-20hr Every Friday (July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th) Bar ‘Au Bon Coin’, Thoursais Bouildroux. 18h-20hr For more info please email: lavendeechippy@yahoo.co.uk

What’s coming up...

Please send us details of your events in August....

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2011: • • • • • • • • • •

Saturday 1 January: New Year’s Day (Jour de l’an) Sunday 24 April: Easter (Pâques) Monday 25 April: Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques) Sunday 1 May: Labour Day (Fête du Travail) Sunday 8 May: WWII Victory Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945) Thursday 2 June: Ascension (l’Ascencion Catholique) Sunday 12 June: Pentecost (Whit Sunday-la Pentecôte) Monday 13 June: Whit Monday (Lundi de Pentecôte) Thursday 14 July: Bastille Day (Fête nationale) Monday 15 August: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Assomption)

• Tuesday 1 November: All Saints’ Day (La Toussaint) • Friday 11 November: Armistice Day (Jour d’Armistice 1918)

• Sunday 25 December: Christmas Day (Noël)

Church Services Anglican Church, Parthenay. Services, usually Communion, in English on 4th Sunday of each month at 10.30am at 11 rue de la Citadelle, Parthenay. Plenty of parking but not easy to find!  There is a map on the Chaplaincy web site www.church-in-france.com.   Please join us for a bring and share lunch after the service. All Saints Vendée, Puy de Serre. Services 2nd & 4th Sunday of the month. www.allsaintsvendee.fr Escoval, La Bonne Dame, Ranton. Church service in English 3rd Sunday of every month at 11.30am Join us for a bring and share lunch after the service. www.escoval.fr Thank you to www.whatsoninthevendee.co.uk.

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The French Connection

A long time ago, (about two years) in a galaxy far away, well no, in a barn actually where we practice, the boys and I were a little deflated. Our singer had just announced he was going to return to England. Singers are very few and far between out here in the countryside of Western France. “If we knew another drummer” I said, “I’d give the singing a go”. “Actually I do”, said Chris. Oh dear, I thought. And so the French Connection was re-formed. A phone call was made and Graham (drums), agreed to dust off his kit and join us. We also agreed that a bass player would be a good idea, and through friends we were introduced to Stuart (bass). Father and son team Chris (keyboards/vocals), and Nick (guitar/vocals) along with myself, Lance (vocals/guitar), make up the other members of the band. The French Connection have played in many places around the Vendée and DeuxSèvres, including French and English weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, fetes, new years eve, bars and clubs etc. We play just about anywhere. In fact a few weeks ago we played in a field in the middle of nowhere for the Vendée Land Rover 4x4 club! We have an excellent reputation for a good night out. It can be difficult to ‘please all the people, all the time’, but we work hard on bringing new songs into our repertoire. It currently includes music from the 60’s to the 90’s including the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Beatles, ELO, The Eagles, Robbie Williams and too many more to mention. As well as our private gigs, we have a few public gigs lined up for this summer listed below, which unless stated, are all free. • Sun 3rd July, British Day - Maillé, 85420. Midday start. • Thur 7th July, Pescalis - La P’tite Cuiller, Moutiers sous Chantemerle 79320. 8pm. • Fri 15th July, Le Lambon, Prailles 79370. 8pm ish • Thur 21st July, Pescalis - La P’tite Cuiller, Moutiers sous Chantemerle, 79320. 8pm. • Fri 29th July, La Coussotte, St Martin des Fontaines, 85570. 8pm. BBQ available - reservations necessary • Thur 4th Aug, Pescalis - La P’tite Cuiller, Moutiers sous Chantemerle, 79320. 8pm • Fri 5th Aug, Le Lambon, Prailles, 79370. 8pm • Thur 18th Aug, Pescalis - La P’tite Cuiller, Moutiers sous Chantemerle, 79320. 8pm For more information, e-mail: lance.faulks@wanadoo.fr Lastly a big thank you to all those who come along to see us. We really do appreciate your support, and hope to see you over the next few weeks.

Thank you

to ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine and all your readers who supported, contributed and gave of their time to make the Fete for Alexander in Chef-Boutonne on 21st May, a great success. The sun shone, balloons waved in the light breeze, the stalls kept busy and the wonderful Brass Band 79 played favourite tunes. A grand total of €1,432.00 was raised and has been gratefully received by the Alexander Fund in England. Alex has had 3 operations at the St. Louis Children's Hospital in the U.S. and is now back home where his ongoing medical and physiotherapy treatment continues. So far the prognosis is good and he can now stand and walk a short way with the help of a walking frame. It is hoped that with a lot of hard work and determination he will soon be able to walk with just the help of crutches and then he intends to visit his grandmother in France and thank personally the Mairie of ChefBoutonne and all who helped to make the Fete a special day for him.

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July and Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale)

by Sue Burgess The «Fête Nationale», France's national holiday, has been held on the 14th July since 1880. The «Fête Nationale» commemorates the «Fête de la Fédération» in 1790. This was to mark the end of the absolute monarchy and was also the first anniversary of the taking of the Bastille in 1789. MP Benjamin Raspail had the day voted as a holiday in May 1880 and because the 14th July 1789 had been a bloody day when people had been killed, the holiday officially only commemorates the «Fête de la Fédération» of 1790 and not in fact the storming of the Bastille prison as most of us would believe. The 14th July is a bank holiday and the day for a big military parade along the Champs Elysées, smaller parades in most towns and a firework display in the evening followed by «bal populaire» - street parties with music and dancing into the night. In many towns and villages the firework display is preceded by a “retraite aux flambeaux” (torchlight procession). The firework displays are either held in the night from the 13th to the 14th July or in the night from the 14th to the15th. The beginning of July sees the end of the school year and the beginning of the two month «grandes vacances» (school summer holidays). The results of the Baccalaureat (equivalent of A levels) exam are released around the 7th or 8th of July and those students who are just a few marks off being successful sit «rattrapage» - oral exams where they try to make up the lost points they need.

Vocabulaire : Vocabulary un feu d’artifice.........................

Firework Display

les feux d'artifice......................

Fireworks

un pétard.................................

A Banger

une fusée..................................

A Rocket

une toupie.................................

A Catherine Wheel

fontaine créscendo...................

Silver Fountain

chandelle..................................

Roman Candle

fusée sifflet................................

Whistling Rocket

retraite aux flambeaux...............

Torchlight procession

une torche.................................

Flaming torch

un lampion................................

Chinese lantern

bal populaire.............................

Local dance/hop

défilé.........................................

March-past/procession

People who take their holidays in July are known as “juilletistes” and roads will be busy on Saturdays – the change over day for most holiday rentals. The weekends of the 29th and 30th July and the 6th and 7th August will be classed as “black” weekends by “Bison Fûté” the road safety organisation which studies traffic flow, since most of France will be on the roads on those two weekends, either setting off or coming back from their holidays. July 2011 is rather exceptional since the month will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. Apparently this only happens once every 623 years so no doubt the «Française des Jeux» who organise the French lotto, will certainly be offering big prizes!

Travelling…..Hopefully With the holiday time approaching, one thing is sure; the French have a different idea of travel to the rest of us. It’s deeply engrained in their culture and of course in the language. Here are a few examples to show you what I mean. Let’s start with the verb CONDUIRE to drive. In French conduire is used to describe how you drive the vehicle...but never where you’re driving to, you can’t use conduire to say that you drove to Paris or drove home. When you conduisez in French, there are movements but you don’t actually go anywhere. So what is the point of “conduire” if you can’t go anywhere with it? Well, you can use it to say that you avez conduit toute la journée/vite/bien-drove all day/drove fast/drove well but without ever saying where you were going... You can also aimer conduire like driving and boy, do the French like driving, they just can’t wait to get behind the wheel! 90% of French people take their holidays in France and get where they’re going by car. By the way, did you know that Duchess Anne de Crussol d’Uzès was the first French woman to get a driving licence on 23rd of April 1889? The intrepid Duchess was fined 5 Francs for speeding when she was caught doing 40 Km /h in Place St Augustin in Paris, 20 Kms over the limit!

So let’s continue with the verb VOYAGER to travel, which can’t be used with a destination either. Once a Frenchman has arrived at his holiday destination, he may go out and about to visit the surrounding area in which case he will say that il va se balader and when he gets home he will boast d’avoir vu du pays of having seen the world!! We must not get confused, VOYAGER is something special, it brings a certain kudos. We’re not talking day trips here! When a Frenchman voyage, he goes far from home and is away for a long period, at least huit jours eight days (the very French version of a week). And our Frenchman knows the difference between un touriste a tourist and un voyageur traveller. The former has his trip organized for him and follows sheep-like along the welltrodden tourist trails past the incontournable unmissable sights, while the latter is a solitary adventurer clearing his path with a machete, a thrill-seeker who knows where he’s going...which is just as well because you can’t attach a destination to the verb voyager! To conclude, if you want to say that you’re heading for a precise destination, you can just use ALLER to go, and you’ll get there!! This article was written by Wendy Wise in conjunction with Anne-Marie LEQUEUX: Wendy runs www.facilitutors.com – AnnMarie LEQUEUX runs ILFU language school in Uzès www.uzesfrench-school.com page 5


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2nd Sunday Motorcycle Club

Live Music at El Mexicano!

The club was founded in May 2010 to give our motorcycles, a 1958 Triumph Tiger Cub and a 1968 BSA Bantum Cub a run once a month throughout the summer months. We founded the club with Marc Monet who works in Moulin Des Affairs and has a 1968 Triumph 100 (an expolice bike from Exmouth).

‘El Mexicano’ Bar & Brasserie in Bressuire is well known for its Live Summer Music events. This year brings another July packed with live music each weekend.

We meet on the 2nd Sunday of every month from May through to September at the Le Casse Croûte Vendéen in Pouzauges at 9am for coffee and brioche and set off at 10am. There is always a coffee stop at the half way point and most people bring a picnic for when we reach our destination. Anyone is welcome to join in as there is no charge but the maximum speed on the runs is only 70kph.

Friday 1st July @ 7.30pm ‘Agathe denise blues’ followed by ‘sans fausses notes’. Friday 8th July from 7.30pm ‘Banana Groove’ (acoustic) followed by ‘TBR’ (rock/blues) Friday 15th July from 7.30pm ‘Circque 13’ Friday 22nd and 29th July from 9pm Concerts organised by the association ‘les vendredis de l’été’.

We now have a membership of approx 20 people with 15 bikes of various ages and types and the destinations of the runs are:1. May – Coulon in the Venice Verte with a coffee stop @ The Route 66 Restaurant near Fontenay-le-comte. 2. June – Les Conches with a coffee stop @ Mareuilsur-Lay-Dissais. 3. July – Parthenay Breakfast Run with breakfast @ Le Dragon Bar, Vernoux-en-Gatine. 4. August – Thours with a coffee stop @ ArgentonChateau 5. September – A round trip back to Pouzauges to have lunch in the Le Casse Croûte Vendéen with a coffee stop @ The Route 66 Restaurant near Fontenay-lecomte The rest of the year there are coffee mornings held on the same Sundays at different members homes @ 11am. We would welcome anyone with an interest in motorbiking to join us, English or French. Contact (English) by email: caroline.self@sfr.fr (French) by email: marcnicolleau0867@orange.fr.

All music events are free and held on the square of Bressuire Station.

British Day at Maillé, 85420 - 3rd July. British Day is the brainchild of the very sociable Mayor of Maillé, Pierre Bertrand. Every Summer, he organises events (opera, music, fireworks, dances etc) which take place in the very pretty port of Maillé – situated in the southernmost tip of The Vendée.     For the past two years, he has added a ‘British Day’ to the program of events.  He roped in “the only Brit in the village”, (not quite true – there are two Scots and one Irish) Roger Smith, to help him.    The Mayor’s original demands included:  Fish and chips, British beer, British rock and roll – plus an abundance of Union Jacks etc. The idea was to provide the French with a taste of British food and music in a tongue-in-cheek ‘British’ atmosphere.   Brits very welcome of course! The event has roller-coasted somewhat and now includes considerably more British flavour than the original spec. It has become quite a talking point with the French (who seem surprised at liking Pimms, English ales, English breakfast and fish and chips!).   The event starts around 11am. There will be 20 market/ food stalls and the superb ‘French Connection’ band will play between 12.00 and 3.00 with a break. (Go over the river bridge in the port to park easily.) Roger Smith email: beagle7@o2.co.uk page 6


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Our Furry Friends...

Polly Poppet needs a forever home. This little lady turned up at an old lady's house in Bouille Loretz and within days had a litter of kittens in her outbuilding. Sadly something killed her kittens leaving the cat sick and distressed. The lady started feeding her and within a week managed to get her in a box so that we could get her to the vets. She has now been sterilized and tattooed, de-wormed and treated for fleas, I have detangled her fur and she is slowly settling down.

HOOF (Horse Orientated Open Forum) A group of like-minded Brits with an interest in anything equestrian who meet on average once per month, held at various locations mainly in North Deux-Sèvres or Vendée area. If you are interested in joining us in some adventures, ring Jo Rowe on 05 49 64 22 67 email: willjo@live.co.uk

Normally we would put the cat back where she came from but there are a number of feral Toms living near the old lady, and we fear it was them that killed her kittens. Polly Poppet is terrified of her own shadow.

Sudoku

She is long haired, mostly white with ginger and grey splodges. Please please help to make a happy ending for her. If you think you may be able to help, please email Helen TaitWright at pattes.velours@tiscali.co.uk

www.sudokupuzz.com

The lady cannot keep her as she is very elderly and has an elderly cat of her own as well as a 3 legged cat. So, Polly Poppet would really really like a new home. Once she has your trust she is very cuddly, with a loud purr and really craves company. She has obviously been used to human contact before.

For DSM Crossword#4, please see p.15

The Hope Association is as association that raises money to help save the lives and re-home where possible, dozens of animals which would otherwise have been condemned to a miserable life and often certain death. Volunteers are always needed to help, even your smallest effort will make a difference. For more information, please contact Siobain on 05 49 27 26 20 or email: hopeassoc@orange.fr

Les Amis Solitaires We are a group of people who have found themselves alone in France. We meet up for lunches, dinners and walks and arrange to go to events when it’s no fun going alone. We hold coffee mornings in Confolens, Civray and Sauzé-Vaussais, often followed by a lunch. We would like to expand into the Deux-Sèvres region perhaps based in Niort or Fontenay. If you are interested please contact Nigel on: 02 51 51 48 13 or email: nigelt@wanadoo.fr.

For a full list of advertising rates, please request an advertising pack or download from our website www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr Charities and non-profit organisations advertise for free. page 7


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The Great Outdoors... The Amateur Gardener by Vanda Lawrence

Busy Bee Corner by Mick Lawrence.

We had a lovely day at the annual 'Fete des plantes et du Jardin' @ Domaine de Péré, Prissé-la-Charriere last month. We bought some lovely shrubs and a super pot for the terrace and as a bonus received some good advice from Michael Curtis of 'An English Nursery in France' -

Hooray! Last month was a brilliant month for my beebuddy, Paul and I as we each received our swarm of bees from Apival. The swarms were installed in their new hives and straight away, the bees were busy, back and forth, bringing pollen and water to the hive to build the wax honeycomb. The Queen lays her eggs in some of these honeycomb cells and others are used for storage of pollen and honey for food.

“add about 4" of grass cuttings to the bottom of your tubs & pots before filling with peat. It retains moisture and feeds your plants.”

I suppose this must be a good idea when planting up in the garden too. Since we have had such a dry spell in this area, I have been very conscious of how and when to water the garden. I have been saving plastic bottles to sink neckdown into the soil besides favourite shrubs. Simply cut the bottoms off and pierce a few holes in the lid then you can fill with water which will be released slowly into the soil well below the surface and closer to the roots. We regularly check the internet for the water situation in our area. We use www.info.eau-poitou-charentes.org. You can select your Department and Commune and view the latest situation regarding watering your garden. The main thing to remember when watering, is to do it in the evening so the water can be absorbed into the soil before it evaporates. And lastly, a short note to keen gardeners with bee hives (such as us!) Should you need to spray your roses etc or weedkill paths please do this in the evenings when the bees are not active and safely tucked up in their hives.

Initially I have been giving the young swarm a supply of sugar syrup nourishment supplement. This is poured into a container at the top of the hive, under the roof, where the bees are devouring it within 3 or 4 days and asking for more! These busy bees are now building honeycombs on the frames within the brood section of the hive. When the frames are full with eggs, larva and honey it will be time to fit the honey box on top of the brood box, with a 'Queen excluder' between to prevent the Queen from entering the honey box section and laying eggs there. We also bought a 'hornet excluder' which fits to the hive entrance, allowing the bees free access but preventing hornets from entering the hive and killing the bees. All in all, a very satisfying month. Let's hope the honey box goes on soon and my little friends load it up with lovely honey!

Until next month, Bon Courage!

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Give your garden that magic touch! Jardin Deco is a small family company based at Pouvreau near Vallans between Niort and St Jean d'Angély. Colin has been living here with his wife Lynn, their two children Candice and Anthony and their two dogs for about a year now. At Easter this year, Colin launched his range of decorative garden ornaments and plant pots and containers. Although the business is new to France, it has been developing in England for the past 37 years. Colin makes the ornaments and Lynn paints them. All the items are hand made and can be bought ready painted or if you prefer you can buy them and paint them yourself. The decorations are weather resistant and made out of stone, sand and cement. Although primarily intended for the garden, they would make lovely indoor decorations for Christmas and other occasions. Prices range from 3 Euros to 50 Euros and a selection of decorative objects available includes: pots, bird baths, bird tables, angels, Buddhas, toadstools, snails, tortoises, frogs, dogs, badgers... Colin and his family look forward to seeing you at route de Blaise, Pouvreau, Granzay Gript 79360. Please email colin.myers@orange.fr for detailed directions.

Giving Nature a Helping Hand...by Jenny Harris There was a rather unusual and surprising outcome at our house to the drought we have been experiencing in our area. In front of our ‘cave’ we have a large covered area, rather like a carport, with a brick BBQ, and a wonderful view over the land, and of course nature herself. From the ‘cave’ we watch our horses grazing and Sparrows driving out a Blue Tit couple from one of our bird boxes. Luckily we had put up several, and the Tits were not homeless for long. We have seen Sparrows copulating on the roof of the chicken house, and Swallows mating on the telephone wire, Redstarts building intricately beautiful nests out of horse hair and moss, Crows trying to drive out the Sparrow Hawk from their territory, and the Buzzards holding their own against the smaller but tenacious Hawk. The Heron also occasionally sweeps ominously over the well stocked pond in our field. Let’s hope he is after the frogs rather than the Carp! Each year, between the eaves and the beam at the back of the cave, we have several pairs of Swallows making their nests, raising their young, and dispatching them into the big wide world. This year, there was just one couple. We felt they must be young and inexperienced, as they laboured day after day, bringing mud, horsehair and odd bits of vegetation, only to see it all collapse, time after time, onto the floor. Hardly anything seemed to stick. The drought was not providing the right kind of mud. Time for a little human intervention we thought. I gathered some soil, added a little water, making a good malleable mud. I pressed it into a nest shape, adding some horse hair for good measure. My husband Bill then shimmied up a long ladder, pressing the partially made nest of my fashioning, into the remnants of the Swallows’ attempts. We then formed a kind of cup

from chicken wire underneath the structure, and Bill stapled it to the beam. Undeterred by our presence, the swallows soon returned, enlarging the little structure with their own materials, until satisfied, they settled down to produce eggs. We watched discreetly, sometimes with the aid of binoculars, and after a while four tiny heads could be seen in the nest. Inevitably, the flying lessons began, and soon they will all be leaving us. The human and bird made structure remains robust and stapled to the beam. Who knows, it could be in use again next year.

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Health, Beauty & Fitness... GENTLE TOUCH BEAUTY... Where The Personal and Professional Meet

No matter what our age or outlook on life there comes a time when we all need to feel pampered and special. Whether it’s a regular beauty routine or a one-off treat, the personal touch should never be under-rated. If you’re anything like me, when I first came to France hair and beauty were not very high on the agenda. Family commitments, learning a new language and the day to day bustle of our new lives meant that beauty got pushed to the back burner. Yet over time I’ve seen how taking time out to pamper yourself, or your loved ones, can have real and lasting benefits. Not only is there that glow that comes from feeling fresh, invigorated and radiant. There’s the gift of sharing, and the chance to put yourself centre stage. Yet we all know how hard it can be to find time, money or someone with the care, professionalism and experience to make you feel a million dollars (or euros!!) At Gentle Touch Hair and Beauty I believe that taking time for yourself or loved ones reaps so many benefits. However warm the sun and however refreshing the wine, we all need a break from our day-to-day lives. It could be the monthly hair appointment, the birthday treat or deal with a nagging sports or gardening injury. After leaving school at 18, I trained as a beauty therapist in both the UK and Europe. Prior to moving to France ten years ago I ran two salons in England and I was also heavily involved in training up-and-coming therapists and ran a successful training centre in London. As well as working for myself, I was also hair and beauty manager for the renowned Livingwell Health clubs. As well as offering full beauty therapies, I am also qualified to provide aromatherapy, sports massage, muscle toning, diet nutrition and hairdressing. As Gentle Touch grows and expands its client base I am looking to extend the treatments on offer using the latest technologies and relying on feedback from the most important people – you! There are plans for even bigger facilities which will enable group bookings for the ultimate in pamper parties and girly get-togethers. I really look forward to seeing you soon. Cathy Neal. IHBC, City + Guilds. Tel 0251513471 or email: neal.cat@hotmail.com

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French Adventures... As Andy Case wrote in his best selling book, ‘Beautiful Pigs’, “Time spent in the company of pigs can be theraputic. As any pig owner will tell you, you will walk away at peace”.  Whilst I now couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, our French adventure began a little differently...   Some of you may recall the storms in February 2010. It was 4 o’clock in the morning – the storm was blowing tiles off the roof and branches off the trees. The wind  was screaming. We were out in the torrential rain and thunder amongst the remains of an old outbuilding which had collapsed on our sow, Esmae, and her 9 newborn piglets.   We hurriedly gathered up the piglets and moved them to the un-damaged barn.   Moving a sow and her day-old piglets was not to be taken lightly – but she sensed the danger she and her young were in, and went with the flow. We counted the piglets, and congratulated ourselves on having moved the  sow and nine piglets. But wait –  shouldn’t there be  ten! Where  was  the tenth?  We ran  back out to the remains of the outbuilding –  but couldn’t  see it anywhere.  We managed to move  the corrugated iron sheets, which used to be the roof –  and yes! Dazed, wet and cold was little George the runt of the litter, but still able to give us a tongue lashing as we picked  him up and quickly took  him to his mum. She  had already settled down to  quietly feeding her litter as if this  was  just a normal night.   We still have George today. He’s the pigsty companion for our senior boar “Lucky”. He’s a fixer. He mediates when Lucky has his girls over and soothes all Lucky’s worries  - it’s what best friends do. Everyone needs a George.   This little episode did not put us off breeding Berkshires – it was just the start.  Our enthusiasm for rare breed pigs and the Berkshire in particular began before we moved to France. We have always had a great interest in 'good meat' and were lucky to have access to Farmer’s Markets that were coming back into fashion where we lived in Sussex. Locally produced bacon and rich gorgeous pork from pigs such as Saddlebacks, Tamworths and Berkshires were for sale.  This was indeed a gourmet education for us and the more we ate, the more we wanted to know about rare breeds and why they tasted so good. Reminiscent of my Mum’s roast pork lunches from years ago, with the radio on in the background playing Forces Favourites and the Clitheroe Kid while the smell  wafted out into the garden where we were playing.  

fast lane had to stop. It did very abruptly - and getting used to the slower lane in France took some adjusting too. After reading the famous John Seymour book and more recently “Any fool can be a …Pig Farmer", we thought right - we can do this, let's have some pigs. We were very lucky to find a couple of knowledgeable pig keepers close to us in 86 so we bought our first weaners. Later came our first Berkshire sows “Becky” and  “Esmae”.   We found that the Berkshire is an ideal pig for France as it is happy in the sun and, unlike David and I as we feed them, does not get sunburnt. They are also hardy enough to  take temperatures down to minus 16C in our winters.  Berkshires also have a strong  French connection. The famous Bayeux pig originated when Berkshires were crossed with the Large Norman (celtic pig) and then with the Belgian Pietrain.   Last year we took the decision to bring in new bloodlines from the UK as we were unable to track down  stock which was  unrelated to our own. We now have 4 boar bloodlines and 4 female. Two of our boars come from bloodlines where there are only fifteen of each registered in the world. It seems bizarre but there are more Siberian Tigers than some rarebreed pigs and the only way we can conserve them is by breeding and eating them!     Our home in France has now become the home of the Berkshire pig and we hope to show and promote the Berkshire throughout France at various agricultural shows. We have had much interest from our neighbouring French farmers,  impressed with the tenderness of the meat.  As we grow and get the word out about the Berkshires  we have also had interest from the Netherlands and Belgium. These coming months will be busy as we now gear up to our two young Berkshire gilts Wilma and Betty's first farrowings. Our “pig experience” days are taking off and more visitors are coming to stay in our B&B. And we thought we were leaving life in the fast lane!   But at the end of the day, a walk around the field and look and talk to the pigs...well - the peace comes and nothing else matters.   More information about David and Lorraine and their Berkshires can be found at www.lelogisfrance.com or please see their advert on page 15.

So how did we get here? We  never planned to  live  in France, let alone raise  pigs. But the time suddenly seemed right and  when we saw the house we knew that this was where we had to be. Five whirlwind months of not so careful planning  later  we were here. Coming to France came at the right time in our lives. You instinctively know when change has to happen. Life in the page 12


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French Life, Food & Drink... Vive la difference. by Gilly Hunt Rain at last; I never thought I would be so happy to see rain in June. I am sure we were all secretly, if not openly, pleased to see the rain; to watch our water butts fill up, and the gardens soak up the joyous nectar of water. The Deux-Sèvres climate is, I believe, one of the main reasons why many of us chose to move here in the first place; as it is has reportedly more sunshine hours than most areas in France and this year so far there certainly has been lots of sunshine and let’s hope there is more to come. This month our neighbour very kindly came, as he does every year, to collect our two Ouessant sheep (Bonnie and Clyde) and take them to our local farmer to be shorn. This year they were particularly pleased by this event as it had been so hot. When they returned it was great to watch them bounding around like spring lambs, enjoying their freedom and coolness from their very thick winter fleeces. I have just come back from a trip to England and I was reminded upon my homecoming how truly wonderful it is living in France. I was pleased to bid farewell to the traffic jams, the constant need to shop and buy just about anything, whether one can afford it or not. The whole pace and way of living was reminiscent of a hamster continually running around its wheel reaching nowhere. Whereas in France the lifestyle is more one of a cat, taking each day as it comes, finding a sunny spot to doze in and savouring the moment and enjoying what is there, not constantly seeking something else. For have we not found our own utopia, so we no longer need to search?

This month’s contribution to the Cancer Support Deux Fox. Sèvres Favourite Recipe Book comes from Maureen . Thanks go to her for..... Mo’s Red Onion Tart (for 4 people or adjust accordingly) Ingredients: Flaky pastry (Pâte Feuilletée) 5 red onions Brown sugar (approx 2 tablespoons) Balsamic vinegar (approx 2 tablespoons) 125g grated cheese 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper poon Slice onions and fry gently in 25g butter and 1 tables and olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar balsamic vinegar, also salt and pepper. Taste and adjust le as needed. Place in pyrex dish (20/23cms). Sprink sides. cheese on top. Lay pastry on top and tuck in Turn Cook in oven 180 degrees for about 25 minutes. out and over. when Tip: If you leave a gap round the edge of the onions . putting them in the dish it will be easier to tuck in pastry This recipe can be served hot or cold and can be made us! up to three days in advance. Simple, tested and delicio Please keep the recipes coming. We can’t promise to include them all but we can promise they will all be tested! Send to: ivan7thelma@wanadoo.fr marked ‘recipe’. r If you would like any information about the work of Cance 05 on field Search June t contac Support Deux-Sèvres, please 49 64 59 96 or email junesearchfield@gmail.com

I feel at this juncture I should point out to any new arrivals, and I do not wish to sound patronising, that it is so important to keep busy when you first arrive, to go out and about and to join in local activities in order to meet people. Normally our friends stem from the school gate, or work, neither of which most of us have here, so meeting people can be a challenge. It is so important though if you are to truly settle here to create a life for yourself. Your renovation will not last forever and you will soon tire of lounging around reading books. I know that it is scary for many of us to join clubs and associations especially when in a foreign country and with a new language to contend with. But there are also many clubs and associations you can join that are English, these can be found on the various English forums on the web, or in this great magazine; look around and be proactive and soon you will be as busy as you wish, with lots of like minded new friends. Must go as off out to dinner with friends-Vive la Difference.

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Strawberry & Rosewater Ice-cream. Strawberries and cream are the quintessential British dessert, and I have combined those evocative flavours of summer with one of my favourite ingredients – Rosewater. INGREDIENTS 500g Hulled Strawberries 5tbs Rosewater 8OOml of fresh double cream and milk combines (at a proportion of at least 50/50) 150g Vanilla Sugar 8 Egg yolks (I used organic) 1tbsp Cornflour METHOD 1. Hull and cut up the strawberries into quarters. Lay on a plate and sprinkle with the rosewater. Leave to infuse for at least one hour at room temperature. Stir occasionally to amalgamate the rosewater thoroughly. 2. In the meantime prepare the custard. Add vanilla sugar, cornflour and egg yolks to a deep bowl. Beat until mixed well. (I use cornflour to minimise the risk of splitting the custard) 3. Slowly heat up the cream and milk in a saucepan until it is considering its ascent up the pan sides to come to a full boil. BEFORE this happens, take the pan off the heat and pour into the egg and sugar mixture. Beat the mixture hard. 4. In a clean saucepan, return the mixture to the heat and gently heat and stir (or beat) until the mixture thickens. Remember here that we are not looking to cut it into polenta like slabs – a gentle thickening to a pouring consistency is sufficient. 5. Cool the mixture down. Do this by way of some ice in a large bowl placed below the pan, but NEVER in the fridge – this will seriously affect the operating temperature and the other food stored there.

6. 7.

8.

After the strawberries have macerated, purée them in a blender. To make the ice cream either pour into the ice cream maker and set to churn and freeze, or pour the mixture into a plastic lidded container and place in the freezer. In this case, the mixture will need to be broken up and mixed a few times during the freezing process in order to reduce the formation of ice crystals in the preparation. Serve with a few additional strawberries, in cones or wafers or simply on its own.

To read more culinary musings by Helen, visit: http://haddockinthekitchen.wordpress.com

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by Helen Aurelius-Haddock

~ The Deux-Sèvres Monthly ~ Sarah Berry, La Bartière, 79130, Secondigny. Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 page 14


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Still missing Jane Kennedy Can you help? Perhaps you have seen Jane? If so, please get in touch. Contact us at The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine, or via the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Haveyou-seen-Jane/213436095333280

Across: 2. Fan who’s responsible for the upkeep (9) 7. Unfertilized egg cells (3) 8. The night before (3) 9. Teach on track? (5) 12,13. Look at yourself through this, I’m watching you from this side (3-3, 6) 14. Jumps (5) 16. Hindu goddess of illusion (4) 19. Boil and simmer (4) 21. Section you spend a lot of time on (7) 22. Scottish upland area (4) 24. Those two together (4) 27. Sip and savour the style? (5) 31. Slow sentimental song (6) 32. Walks in (6) 33. Tied (5) 34. Look through the sights (3) 35. Falsehood (3) 36. Amazed and delighted by ‘Gone with the wind’ (5-4)

Down: 1. Sat Nav (3,3) 2. One of numerous aromatic plants (6) 3. Flower part (5) 4. North African capital (5) 5. Disappointment and remorse (6) 6. VERY sore! (3,3) 10. Grass (3) 11. Small demon (3) 15. Either of the extreme points of a planet’s eccentric orbit 17. Earth’s atmosphere (3) 18. Joke like a monkey (3) 19. Lord Coe (3) 20. Take in food (3) 22. North American feline mammal (6) 23. Equanimity, self confidence (6) 25. Candidly, honestly (6) 26. Said angrily ‘Is in the shed, tied up’ (6) 27. Forbidden or disapproved of (5) 28. Bustling activity (3) 29. How many commandments? (3) 30. Bequeath (5)

DSM Crossword#4 Please see website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr for answers

Take a break....

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Getting Out & About... Long live Motor Racing, French Style!

by Helen Tait-Wright With the Le Mans 24 Hours now behind us, and no French F1 Grand Prix on the calendar for 2011 you might be forgiven for thinking that the motor racing season is now finished in France, but that is not so. France has always enthusiastically embraced the motor car, and is synonymous with the birth of motor sport; the first ever motoring event was staged just outside Paris in 1887, and in 1894 sixty nine cars turned up for the world’s first motor race, run between Paris and Rouen, although only 25 cars started. The winners average speed was 19 km/h!! The first “Grand Prix” was held in Pau 1901. These early races, both in France and across Europe were driven on open roads, and it wasn’t until the turn of the century that purpose built tracks were constructed. The first of these was Brooklands in Surrey.

Just outside Deux-Sèvres, at the end of July (30 & 31) Le Puy Notre Dame hosts its Grand Prix Retro, again on a street circuit, with cars up to 1940, and well attended by the UK Morgan 3 wheeler Club. From 16-18th September, the Circuit des Remparts is run at Angoulême. Since its creation in 1939, the only differences along this unique 1279m long street circuit are the safety rails and metal fences which have replaced the hay bails and wooden fences. The historic vehicles which made the event such a legend then, still race today along with more modern machines. Angoulême, with Monaco and Pau, is one of the last surviving great street tracks.

Over 100 years later, motor sport in all its various forms is one of the most watched televised sports in the world. But you can get up close and personal with the action in many French towns during the summer as the Historic and Retro Race and Rally events get under way in the traditional way, through the streets. In the heart of our region, Bressuire hosts its “Grand Prix Historique” on 2nd and 3rd July. This event is a homage to the glory days of the early 50’s when the biggest names of their day in motor sport raced around the town, fresh from Le Mans. The event was revived in 2004 for 1950’s cars, including single seaters, and once again this year you can come and see all the action.

Morgan 3 wheeler at Le Puy 2008.

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine will be at the Grand Prix Historique in Bressuire on 2nd & 3rd July......come and say Hi!

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Don’t forget to mention ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ when responding to an advert!

Don’t forget to mention ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ when responding to an advert!

~ The Deux-Sèvres Monthly ~ Sarah Berry, La Bartière, 79130, Secondigny. Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 page 21


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Communications... Using your PC - How to share your digital photos free of charge Summer is upon us, and many of us are looking forward to visits from family and friends, and most of us will record some of our visits and events using our digital cameras. Once you have transferred your photos onto your PC, you will probably want to share some or all of these with other family and friends. Those of you who have tried this by email will realise that this can be a very long process, many service providers restrict the size of emails making it difficult to send more than a few photos in one email. This is further compounded by the fact that digital cameras are recording more and more megapixels (MP) making each photo file size much bigger. For example my digital camera, is a 4MP one and the best quality photo was around 1megabyte (MB) in size on my hard disk drive. Sandy’s new digital camera has 14MP, thus each photo is around 3.2MB and making sending them by email slow and reducing the number I can send in each email considerably. The solution is to use one of the on-line photo sharing services, of which there are many. Some come with free software to organise your photos on your computer, as well as making it easy to create your own on-line photo album/s to share with your family and friends. This means selecting the photos you want to share and uploading them to your on-line service, then letting the people you want to share the photos with know where to go and see them with a simple email. There are many benefits to this, you only have to send them once to your on-line service (a relatively slow process compared to sending a quick email telling people where to view your photos), you can add tags describing the photo or event, and you have a copy of your photos that the on-line provider keeps safe for you (so in the event that your computer “crashes” and you lose your copies, you can download them from the internet – a free

backup service), you may also permit the viewers to take copies for themselves, and print from your albums. I recently researched who is offering the free photo sharing services and found several sites that provide sharing for free, I personally use Google’s Picasa picasa.google.com finding this easy to use and taking advantage of the 1GB of on-line storage space, this is more than enough for my needs, however if I want more on-line space I can pay for it and it is not expensive, after all 1GB represents around 1,000 photos of my old 4MP camera, and 300 on Sandy’s 14MP one. Two relatively new services are www.keepandshare.com and believe it or not Microsoft’s new Windows SkyDrive service allows you to store 25GB of photos and documents totally free, you can find more info at explore.live.com although this seemed less friendly to use than Keep and Share or Picasa. For ease of use, I think keepandshare.com is brilliant as it has superb video tutorials explaining how to use the service, and a generous capacity of 6GB of storage for free and the ability to subscribe to get extra capacity. For personal use I will stick to Google’s Picasa as it suits my needs at present, however as my photo library grows the Microsoft SkyDrive service is looking more and more attractive. Ross Hendry is the proprietor of Interface Consulting and Engineering, who has over 42 years experience in Communications, Computer Technology and Direct Marketing. He operates from his home on the Deux-Sevres/Vendée border adjacent to L’Absie. You can find more information on his services at www.seowise.co.uk. Email Ross: rs.hendry@gmail.com.

Useful English Language Numbers...

Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres: 05 49 64 59 96 French State health insurance advice line: 08 11 36 36 46 Elizabeth Finn Care (Grants and advice if in Financial need): 04 68 23 43 79 S.O.S Helpline: 09 69 36 39 00 Hertford British Hospital (English speaking Hospital for the Paris area): 01 46 39 22 22 EDF International Customer Service : 05 62 16 49 08 CLEISS (Social security advice between countries): 01 45 26 33 41 Association La Porte Ouverte (Open Door): 05 49 87 97 36 or www.opendoor-civray.com British Embassy (Paris): 01 44 51 31 00 Funeral Information (AFIF): 01 45 44 90 03 or 06 08 24 42 71 Passport Advice: 0044 208 082 4729

Consulates: Bordeaux: 05 57 22 21 10 Lille: 03 20 12 82 72 Lyon: 04 72 27 81 70 Marseille: 04 91 15 72 10 page 24


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Building & Renovation...

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~ The Deux-Sèvres Monthly ~ Sarah Berry, La Bartière, 79130, Secondigny. Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 page 27


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Business, Finance & Property...

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The Savings Tax Directive Potentially Costly changes

by Bill Blevins. 1st July introduced two significant changes to the EU Savings Tax Directive. While many expatriates will not be affected, for some the changes could have a significant impact. The Directive was created to ensure that everyone living in the EU pays tax on their interest earnings, even if they do not declare them. EU Member States (including some dependent territories) implement an automatic exchange of information system. Luxembourg, Belgium and Austria however are temporarily allowed to levy a withholding tax. Various non-EU countries participate in the Directive, including the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Switzerland and Monaco. The Channel Islands and Isle of Man have been offering clients a choice of automatic exchange of information or withholding tax...until now. With effect from 1st July, the Isle of Man and Guernsey no longer offer the withholding tax option and instead now

apply automatic exchange of information on all bank accounts owned by EU residents. If you live in France and have a deposit account in the Isle of Man or Guernsey, your bank will pass details about you and your interest earnings to the French tax authorities. This is done automatically each year regardless of whether or not the French authorities have requested information. Your tax authority will most likely compare the information received with that provided by you on your tax return. The second change from 1st July is an increase in the withholding tax rate for those jurisdictions still applying it. The rate was originally 15%. It increased to 20% in 2008 and has now jumped to 35% – which is higher than the tax rate you would pay in France. It is increasingly important to take professional advice from a firm like Blevins Franks to ensure you get your tax planning right and that it is effective as possible. To keep in touch with the latest developments in the offshore world, check out the latest news on our website www.blevinsfranks.com Bill Blevins, Financial Correspondent, Blevins Franks

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Getting Noticed

At times when the market is fairly flat, like we have endured for the last couple of years, vendors have to make their property stand out from the competition in order to make the difference between an also-ran and a real front runner in the property stakes. The most important thing for sure is to have a good set of images available for your agent, whether for display in a window or on the internet. Be aware that they may have visited you on a grey day, with an uninspiring sky. Don’t be afraid to send them something seasonal with a clear blue sky – beware of old images with frost or snow on the ground, and also avoid Christmas decorations. Check your agent’s window or website the next time you can. Check the wording – is it accurate? Could it be improved? Don’t be afraid to offer politely your suggestion. Sometimes it is worth investing in a professional to take elevated photographs or provide you with floor-plans, and these can promote your property ahead of the competition. If your property is a holiday home, make sure that someone cuts the grass and weeds the garden regularly. An uncared for property really does look sad, and no amount of sweet talking by the Estate Agent is going to sell that one. Open shutters for the viewings, even if you would normally have them closed on hot/cold days. Have discreet secondary lights on in some rooms to make the place welcoming. Don’t follow the agent around from room to room.

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Let them get on with the viewing. Several people milling around on a landing & in and out of bedrooms will make the property feel cramped. If the potential buyers don’t seem to particularly like the property accept that, but if they show interest offer them some refreshments. Often vendors can help things along by joining the clients at the end of the viewing to answer questions, such as the distance to local schools or the local taxes etc. Don’t forget to ask for feedback – good agents will automatically provide this to you within 24/48 hours, and take on board their comments. Check with your agent how they promote your property. They should be able to give you details of a few property portals that they use for the internet, ideally appealing to the UK market, French market and other International clients. (We use around 10 different sites for different properties). Do they have a weblog or use Facebook for example? New technology: Our blog: http://allez-francais.blogspot.com/ We are also on Facebook, you can find the link via our website homepage: www.allez-francais.com Mobile barcodes Peter Elias (Agent Commercial). www.allez-francais.com email: sales@allez-francais.com, Tel 05 49 27 01 22

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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly July 2011  

English language magazine for the Deux-Sèvres and surrounding departments in France.

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