Aude & Ariege Flyer Archive
Pleae click on the Title of the Archive Flyer you wish to read.
I must have missed the discussions that went on with regard to the naming of a new element, Number 118 in the periodic table. It turns out to have been called ‘Og’ after Professor Yuri Oganessian (born 1933) for his pioneering contributions to transactinoid elements research. His many achievements include the discovery of superheavy elements. There was a petition going around calling for it to be named "Lemmium" indeed where it is on the table they could have called it Directorium.
Thankfully the decision has been made, subject to lots of ratification, to build the new runway for London at Heathrow. I had my suspicions it could have gone to Schipol in Amsterdam which would have been handy to establish the Passporting rights of all the British bankers who wish to continue to trade within the EU.
Things are looking good on trade deals – it took less than a decade for a country that produces trees and maple syrup to do a deal with Europe, despite the Waloonies trying to trip it up. I have done a few searches and can’t find what the problem was for that particular region of Belgium. Maybe Canada wanted to muscle in on the Endive biz or sprouts?
The British treasury are asking businesses that have vending machines to get ready for the new pound coin which starts to circulate alongside the current one in March 2017. It looks a lot like a threepenny bit and has about the same value nowadays, unless you can find some faulty ones I suppose.
Have you got boxes and boxes of packs of photos of days gone by? Or have you been diligent and put them in books? I have the former and would like to digitise them. The machine to do it looks expensive for what is a one-off use, unless lots of people have the same need? Do you?
We are heading to another scary ‘see you on the other side’ and there are plenty more to come, I mean US election not Halloween, of course.
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Lost in France
The noise has been going on for a few weeks. It first started as a single beep and that went on for a maybe a month. No one seemed perturbed by it. It was coming from an empty house three doors down from me.
For the last two weeks the noise started getting more frequent. Two beeps then finally three beeps. The three beeps extended into three long beeps one short, a small break and a repeat. Then three long beeps one short a break and then three repetitions. It was becoming quite irritating.
After about ten days of this when every time you stuck your head outside it seemed like there was a high pitched beep, it was getting really, really annoying. I mentioned it to my next door neighbour and she agreed it was starting to irritate and we wondered what the people living right next door to it thought. A couple of days later, I was walking the dog past the second neighbour’s house and I mentioned the irritating noise. She understood what I was saying and put her ear to the window of the house from where the noise was emanating. As the house has been empty for over 18 months and the letting agent’s board has been on it all that time I suggested that maybe she give them a ring to complain. I suppose I could have done it but she’d be able to explain it better than I. She looked at me confused and I thought, oh God what have I said? But lack of understanding was not due to my language skills but due to the fact that she considered it was not for her (as the person closest to and probably most irritated by the noise) but it was for the Mayor to sort out!
Nothing happened. I don’t suppose it was up to her to tell the Mayor, the Mayor had just to do it. A day later I spoke to the Mayor’s wife, she lived next door to me but being in a village circulade and the way the noise travels she couldn’t actually hear the noise. We went and listened and she then heard it. She decided to call the agents. She returned a few minutes later and told me it was the smoke-alarm battery.
Nothing happened. She had found out what the noise was but hadn’t told them to come and fix it!
Two days later – no noise. My next door neighbour in irritation had called the agents and they came that day to repair.
So I haven’t misunderstood the responsibilities of the mayor but I have misunderstood common sense and logic in a French village. Small village life or small life village.
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On Friday 7th October, 62 invited guests attended the 113th Le Tour de Finance event, once again staged
in the beautiful setting of Domaine Gayda, in Brugairolles in the Aude. This is the seventh time The
Spectrum IFA Group has returned to Domaine Gayda, and after the presentations guests were able to sample
some of the wines produced there.
On arrival, guests were treated to coffee and pastries before listening to six presentations on a range of
financial subjects including Assurance Vie, Pensions, Financial Markets and Currency Exchange and French Tax
issues. The presentations were delivered by industry professionals and commenced with a presentation by
Michael Lodhi CEO of The Spectrum Group who immediately drew the attention of the attendees by
addressing the issue uppermost in the guests’ minds, that of the EU Referendum result and how it would
impact the expat community. Michael then went on to highlight the other main theme of the day, that of the
state of the UK pensions industry, scheme deficits and the options open to pension members.
Michael then made way for Jeremy Ferguson of SEB Life International who spoke about Assurance Vie,
its tax advantages in France, both for income and inheritance tax, and demonstrated the product’s
flexibility in adapting to changes in the policy holder’s circumstances. This is always a popular
presentation, and didn’t disappoint.
Following Jeremy, we heard a presentation on the current situation in the financial markets delivered by
Robert Walker from Rathbones, who shared the ‘house’ view on the impact of Brexit on the investment
markets, and on the value of the pound. Of particular interest was his views on where the true value of the
pound lies and the timescales before those values are likely to be restored.
Following Robert came a short presentation by George Forsyth of Prudential who presented the Prudential
Assurance vie and how it differs from the SEB Life contract. Majoring on the strength of Prudential’s
investment funds and how this allows the returns to be smoothed out, rather than suffer the periodical
fluctuations of the investment markets, George was able to convey the view that the volatility in global
markets can be successfully managed without causing the investor sleepless nights.
There was a noticeable sitting up in seats when the next speaker stood up to speak – Paul Foreman from
Momentum Pensions. Speaking about the developments in pensions brought about by last year’s change in
legislation, it was clear this was a subject of great importance to the attendees. There is clear
concern being expressed currently and this was confirmed to us in feedback received after the event. Paul
delivered an highly informative presentation that inevitably raises more questions than answers, but an
opportunity to ask those questions came over lunch.
Pippa Maile of Currencies Direct then delivered a typically entertaining presentation on the different
transaction opportunities available through the Currencies Direct online portal. Once again this was of
particular interest to the room.
Finally, guests were introduced to Rachel Thomas-Bonnet whose company Perfide Albion provides help and
support in a whole range of aspects to ex-pats, ranging from help with property purchase, entering the
French healthcare system and (noticeably more reluctantly) re-registering your car in France. Rachel also
helps with completion of tax returns, and through her work with Notaire coupled with her legal training has
built up a reputation as the go-to person for all aspects legal. It was clear that Rachel was a popular speaker
by the comments made by the attendees and the number of people who made a bee-line for Rachel over lunch.
The presentations were then wound up by Michael Lodhi who then invited all to stay and enjoy the lunch
provided by Domaine Gayda and to sample some of its wines.
To all of us there, it was evident that the guests had found all the presentations highly informative and of
value to them. Once again, a very successful Tour de Finance.
In practice, financial advice is needed more than ever in uncertain times. Doing nothing can often be an
expensive mistake. If you were not able to attend the seminar and would anyway like to have a
confidential discussion with one of our financial advisers, you can contact us by e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 04 68 31 14 10 to make an appointment. Alternatively, if you
are in Limoux, call by our office at 2 Place du Général Leclerc, 11300 Limoux, to see if an advisor is
available immediately for an initial discussion. On a Friday, we stage a Drop-in clinic where you can meet me
for an informal discussion of your circumstances; this is free and without obligation.
The above outline is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a
recommendation from The Spectrum IFA Group to take any particular action on the subject of the
investment of financial assets or on the mitigation of taxes.
The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given,
as can be seen from our Client Charter at
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Forum: http://csf.forum.org Local Association No : W112000594
You have indulged in some overbidding and you are in six hearts. The defence lead the King of spades. Can you make the contract?
J 10 9 8 7
7 6 5 4 3
A 5 4
A K Q 6
A 7 6 5 4
Hoping for trumps 2/2 and clubs no worse than 4/2, win the lead, ruff a spade and cash the King then the Ace of clubs. Ruff the last spade and play a diamond. The best defence returns a trump which you win in hand and you ruff a club. Now ruff a diamond and ruff another club. Ruff back to hand with a diamond and draw the last trump. Your last club is a winner! (If clubs are 3/3 you can draw trumps earlier coping with a 3/1 break)
Ddos attack in the news.
Many of you might have heard of a Denial-of-service attack that happened last week and be wondering what a Denial-of-service attack is?
It was quite a big attack and affected many internet site throughout the world for around half a day, Google, Netflix, Amazon and many others could not be accessed.
So what is a Denial-of-service attack and should you be worried?
Denial-of-service attacks are characterized by an explicit attempt by attackers to prevent legitimate users of a service from using that service. There are two general forms of DoS attacks: those that crash services and those that flood services.
The most serious attacks are distributed (as was the case this time), so that the location of the attacking machines cannot easily be identified and so that the attack cannot be easily defeated using filtering.
What is an IP address? This is kind of an internet telephone number, names do not exist on the internet so when you type www.google.com your computer (or other device) goes to a DNS (directory naming service) to ask what is the IP address (phone number) for google.com, the number is given to your computer and it then dials that number into your browser and shows you the page.
The latest attack targeted one of the largest DNS servers, a hacker or group of hackers managed to write a virus (bot net virus) that infected one particular make of security camera of which there are millions around the world and get all of those cameras to send DNS requests to the same place at the same time, over and over and over again. Billions of requests a second so that the server cannot cope.
Sometimes its crime they can threaten a company and demand protection money. Sometimes its revenge or abuse or in support of some cause, in this case they said it was to protest over Julian Assange having his internet cut off by the Ecuador embassy. But that does not really add up as it targeted only one DNS system and there are many. A more likely explanation is that they were testing a hacking system or probing the defenses of the internet.
So what does that mean of all of us, in short it’s not good news. As more and more devices of all kinds connect to the internet this type of attack are going to be more common and more of a concern. Anything from Smart phone, computer, tablet, internet connected camera, smart TV, Smart fridge, smart light bulb all connect to the internet in one way or another. The only way to protect them and keep you safe is to update regularly. In the case of most Smart devices this sort of update is much more complicated than the simple (relatively speaking) updates that Windows or MacOS gives you every week. Most Smart devices need firmware update to fix security problems, and this can be difficult as you have to find the right firmware and then upload it to the device manually.
Is there anything else you can do, Yes try to buy good brand name smart devices you are more likely to get automatic updates and the products are likely to be supported for longer. Christmas is fast approaching and I am already being asked about possible gifts of Smart Plugs, Smart light bulbs and Smart thermostats, all of these are things you can control from your smart phone or tablet from anywhere. For example you want to turn the heating system on before you get home (or off after you’ve left), or turn the lights on before you get out of the car, or see what’s inside your fridge when in the supermarket. Yes people really are doing this and it’s a very fast growing industry, expect to see many more smart devices next year.
If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for advice.
Bruce@mirax.org or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.
After taxes there is only one certainty, and judging by the advertisements on UK TV the cost of a funeral can be between £4,000 and £8,000. Just as a guide, how much does a funeral cost in France? Just a simple box, trip to the crem., glass of wine, my apology for attending a previous engagement, and the ashes to be distributed where my next of kin decide. I anticipate that these ashes will start their journey as hand luggage. Just an indication.......
Thought you might be interested in this for the Flier:
On October 16, 2016, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Pamiers apologised for acts contrary to Gospel. Though not explicit, these acts are widely taken to include the Crusade against the Cathars, the activities of the Inquisition in the Languedoc, and in particular, the burning of some 225 baptised Cathars at Montsegur in 1244.
Speaking in French, the bishop said:
"We ask the Lord for forgiveness for some of our members and some of our institutions participating in acts contrary to the Gospel, in which the Lord Jesus gave us the commandment to love our neighbour and not to respond to violence with violence"
The Bishop's apology was made specifically on behalf of his diocese. The apology was made at a crowded hour-long service (a "celebration" not a mass) at the village Church of Montsegur - with a thousand or so listening outside. The Cathars' distinctive form of the Lord's prayer was sung in the church. Cathars never built or used church buildings, so this might have been the first time the Cathar form of the Lord's Prayer has ever been used in a church.
Red and gold flowers - the colours of both the Counts of Foix and the Counts of Toulouse decorated the church. Outside many carried flags bearing the red and gold cross of Toulouse, the heraldic device of the Counts of Toulouse eight hundred years ago.
The general perception was that this ceremony was perfectly pitched. Even the weather cooperated providing an almost cloudless October sky. The ceremony was conducted in a mixture of Occitan and French. Monseigneur Jean-Marc Eychenne looked perfectly at ease and smiled warmly throughout the songs sung in Occitan. In his address, he referred specifically to Cathars as brothers and sisters - an acknowledgment of their deep Christian faith. He also referred by name to Bertrand Marty, a Cathar bishop who was burned at the stake at Montsegur in 1244, and he explicitly used the word "persecution". The Lord's Prayer was read in Occitan by Muriel Batbie, then recited by the congregation in French (For Cathars, the Lord's Prayer held special significance retained from the earliest days of Christianity). The group Terra Maïre sang a moving anthem in Occitan. At the end the bishop participated actively in the Pax - a practical realisation of the theme of reconciliation.
After the celebration those present, including the bishop, Monseigneur Jean-Marc Eychenne, then walked in silence to a nearby field, to a place thought to mark the spot where some 225 baptised Cathars were burned alive in 1244. Everyone carried branches of laurel - a reference to an Occitan saying associated with the Cathars, and predicting the revival of Occitan culture after seven hundred years (The last known baptised Cathar in the Languedoc was burned alive by the Archbishop of Narbonne in 1321, so the seven hundredth anniversary will fall in 2021). Music, Graile e de la Bodèga was played by Xavier Vidal et Claude Roméro. Se Canto, the Occitan national anthem was sung.
Along with his sprig of laurel, the bishop carried a simple shepherd's crook made of wood and iron, another gesture of humility that resonated well - Monstsegur like much of the diocese lies in mountainous sheep country, and many Cathar shepherds would have carried similar crooks in the High Middle Ages.
Formalities concluded with a "verre de l'amitié" at the village hall.
The clear consensus among those present was that this apology marked an important historical event. The bishop was born in Pamiers, so understood local sensibilities. He and his clergy recognised that the wound inflicted in the thirteenth century was still raw and bleeding in the twenty-first, that the embers were still glowing. He has done pretty much everything that could be expected of him. Those present, from supposed neo-Cathars to government functionaries, from academics to Catholic clergy appeared happy with the day's events. Many were visibly moved.
A great a success as it was, the bishop's apology is widely seen as only the start. As Bertrand de la Farge put it, "Today's event is the first step of a process". Medieval Bishops of Pamiers played a small and late (though well publicised) part in the persecution of the Cathars. Those who share a much greater portion of responsibility for the persecution of the Cathars include the Catholic Church as a corporate entity, the papacy, the Cistercians, the Dominicans and the archbishoprics of Narbonne and Toulouse. Cistercians promoted the Crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc, and the head of the Cistercian Order, the Abbot of Cîteaux, personally commanded the Crusade during its initial phase. Dominicans created and manned the first papal Inquisition, the organisation tasked with the extirpation of the Cathars after the Crusade. The bald fact is that along with local bishops they were responsible for burning alive countless thousands for the crime of disagreeing with them - not for anything else. That eight-hundred year old wound is unlikely to heal until they each make unconditional apologies with the same grace as Monseigneur the Bishop of Pamiers. Representatives of the Cistercian and Dominican Orders had been invited on the 16th October, but were not present at the ceremony.
There's more (with photos) at http://www.cathar.info/cathar_news.htm#pamiers
PETER DOHERTY 18 nov Bikini Toulouse
STEVE HARRIS BRITISH LION 8 NOV LE METRONUM TOULOUSE
JAKE BUGG 9 NOV BIKINI TOULOUSE
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL 22 to 26 Nov Zenith Toulouse
BIFFY CLYRO 29 JAN BIKINI TOULOUSE
CELTIC LEGENDS 28 MARCH Zenith Toulouse