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I had to do a bit of reading to find out why Mr Putin was quoted on the BBC News as having said that the Syrian governments use of chemical weapons was “utter nonsense”.  If I am to believe any of the media I looked at, it would appear that the main reason he could have a different view on the incident is that in 2011 Russia made a billion dollar weapons deal with al-Assad. Reuters have gone on to say that the Syrians have just made some early payments on the deal. Russia having lost Libya and Egypt as weapons export markets, the last thing they need is another Arab Spring losing them a good client. Or of course the other possibility is the chemical attack was done by rebels. It just seems strange that Bahar hasn't claimed that or has he and I missed it?
I have noticed a few articles appearing on the idea of sending your luggage to your holiday destination rather than pay the airlines punitive rates. But I checked out and a 20kg bag from Uk to France is £27, surely this is uncompetitive with Ryanair? This is either no saving or so little saving it's not worth the hasssle, at least one is familiar with all the procedures for taking a bag to a flight. Maybe you found a cheaper one? Let me know and I will pass it on to the readers.


Have airlines and airports relaxed the rules liquids on planes recently?


The service offered by should be a good one, as long as there are enough pick up and drop off alternatives offered. It is basically using people to rent cars for €1 for one way rentals, repositioning cars, that otherwise the rental agency would have to put on a transporter. Let us know if you have used it and how it went?



Rolf Harris MBE OBE CBE has been charged then. I thought eventually they would have dropped everything because I am sure I am not alone believing he could not do such a thing, well not in the last half century and before that it was different times and things were different? But he has also been charged with making indecent images of children? And this was supposed to have happened last year? I just dont get it.



This month has some national  events with things happening locally within them, Firstly the heritage weekend on the 14 and 15 of September, this is when a variety of places open their doors to the public, check here to see if anything that  excites you.


Secondly there is Tous Restaurant where as the title gives a clue, restaurants do deals to encourage new visitors it runs from the 16th to the 22nd of September





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Last month I talked about the two certainties in life; death and taxes. 

Unfortunately since that article we have lost another of our expatriate colleagues.  Ken (his real name) was an incredibly astute and business-like person.  It used to take me quite a while to travel to his home for meetings, and invariably within 30 minutes I was on my way home again; business done.  I will miss him, and I can see that scores of his friends and ex colleagues across the globe will miss him too.  I make no excuse then for staying on the topic of death and taxes.  Ken was his real name, but none of the facts and figures I’m about to give you relate to him at all.

QROPS is all about death and taxes.  I’m sure you remember that it stands for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes. I spend a lot of time talking to clients these days about QROPS.  I don’t want to bore you with loads of technical detail here; I want to concentrate on the core reason why you should consider a QROPS if you are non UK resident or are considering becoming so.

I’m talking to a client in this position at the moment.  His name isn’t Steve, but we’ll call him that anyway. He has a £400,000 pension pot made up of four different pensions accrued over his working life.  He and his wife are UK resident, but intend to be French resident soon.  I’ve given him all the background information, and he has come back with a very succinct question:

‘I think it quite likely that I will live in France for many years, but equally likely that I will return to the UK at some stage in the future.  As my pension will revert to UK jurisdiction when that happens, is it worth my while paying the overseas trustee fees while I am outside the UK?’

I know what the answer would be if we posed that question to Ken’s wife, but instead let’s look at some figures.  Let’s assume that Steve is 60 years old, and he thinks he will return to the UK when he is 80.  Let’s also assume a modest net return of 5% per annum of the QROPS pension.  This of course cannot be guaranteed, but is the current performance of my preferred investment fund over the past 5 years. He decides to do a QROPS transfer.

Now let’s move forward in time by 10 years.  Steve’s pension fund is now worth £550,000.  (the technicians amongst you will of course realise that he has been drawing down some of this pension to supplement their other sources of income) He’s quite pleased with this, but would be less pleased to learn that in two weeks’ time he will be killed in a tragic accident, falling into an irrigation channel whilst searching for his lost cat.  (I think I’ll go that way)

As tends to happen in later years, Steve and his wife had discussed what they would do if one of them died.  Steve thought that if he was the one left, he would stay in France, but his wife, we’ll call her Jane, thought it more likely that she would go back to the UK to be with the children and grandchildren.  This is indeed what Jane decides to do, and to facilitate this, she decides to take the full pension pot  as a capital sum to enable her to buy a decent house back in Cambridge.  She will invest the proceeds of the sale of the French house when, and if, it sells.

Because Steve decided to transfer under the QROPS system out of the UK pension jurisdiction, Jane will get every penny of the £550,000 pension lump sum.  If Steve’s decision had gone the other way, and he had decided to keep his four pensions in the UK, Jane would be looking at a tax bill from HMR&C of 55%.  Yes, a tax bill of £302,500.

There will have been additional costs in having a QROPS pension, principally to remunerate the overseas trustees who take on responsibility for the administration of the pension under HMR&C rules.  There will also have been savings.  UK pension funds are subject to UK Dividend Income Tax.  The rebate of the 10 per cent credit was withdrawn by Gordon Brown, costing pension funds billions in tax.  QROPS pensions do not pay this charge.

It is therefore difficult to quantify how much extra a QROPS costs, if anything at all.  What we can say with a fair degree of certainty is ‘not as much as you might think’.  In Steve’s case it probably cost about £9,000 over the ten years in trustee costs, but £8,000 of this was recovered immediately when he invested his pension money into the QROPS bond. That doesn’t happen with all QROPS, but it can currently with Spectrum.

A far as insurance goes, and I regard this as an insurance policy for while you are abroad, the cost/savings ratio looks pretty impressive. I always practice what I preach; my own pension fund is safely housed in a QROPS, well away from the UK tax–grabbers.

QROPS is one of the topics that we will be featuring at our next  “Le Tour de Finance - Bringing Experts to Expats”. Our industry experts will be presenting updates and outlooks on a broad range of subjects, including:

$1·           Financial Markets

$1·           Assurance Vie

$1·           Pensions/QROPS

$1·           Structured Investments

$1·           French Tax issues

$1·           Currency Exchange

The date for the seminar is Friday, 11th October 2013 at the Domaine Gayda, Brugairolles. Places are limited and must be reserved, in advance. This venue is always very popular and so early booking is recommended.

If you have any questions on this, or any other subject, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Rob Hesketh:

By phone on 0468 247758 or mobile 0631 787647

Or by mail at  You can find out more about Spectrum on and






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Health.  It's important but what is it?

In our previous conversations we dealt with 'whats important' and 'the 2 dominant health philosophies'.  Todays conversation takes us out on the plank as we put the word health under the microscope.  Ultimately, what health may or may not be for us is our own choice however I hope that this conversation will help you challenge the idea of health and help you along the way should you choose to explore it further.

When I say the word health enough times, and say it slowly, the word takes on a presence.  From being a throw away word used at toasts to a dynamic, deep concept that deserves my attention.  The word starts a conversation that includes ideas like quality of life, expression of life force, the journey inwards, mortality, internal organs working quietly and even how insignificant and at the same time, how magical we are in the overall scheme of things.   One word and many ideas and concepts evolve fast when I pause to consider the nature of health and by so doing,  re-establishing the concept and understanding of the nature of man at the same time.  The second conversation that follows shortly after the initial whirlwind of thoughts is the one that grounds me.  That thought being that if I do the right things, emotionally, chemically, physically and spiritually then health is the logical consequence of those actions.

One of the rules I live by is to never assume however for the sake of this conversation, I am making the assumption that:

1.  health is really important to you

2.  that you have a pro-active philosophy to your health.

Before reading any further, take a moment and write down your definition of health.  There is no right or wrong here.  It is just another step I invite you to take as we move toward some fresh concepts and ideas. 

For the most part when I ask this question, patients stumble and struggle to come up with something that resembles a coherent idea of what health is.  It is a concern because if health is our most valuable asset, then we should have a clear idea of what it is or how will we ever have it?   At my mini seminars over the years, some of the responses included:

1.  Health is energy

2.  Feeling good

3.  Being free of pain

4.  Eating well

5.  Being able to do what I want to do

6.  Balance

Again, there is no right or wrong here.  All of the above are components of a healthy life however they are far too diluted to represent a condition or definition of health. 

The most common definition, perhaps 95% of patients, define health based on symptoms.  Are they free of pain or discomfort?  I believe that when in a state of health, it is possible that we are free of symptoms.  The opposite is also true.  For example, when vomiting because we have eaten something contaminated, we are in considerable discomfort (symptomatic) however, we would all agree that throwing up is a healthy response.  Consider for a moment if your body did not throw it out.  Then lets look at someone who takes medication, be it diabetes, cholesterol, headaches, etc.  They may have suppressed the symptoms of these conditions, they may even 'feel' OK,  but are they healthy?  Then the other part of the symptoms debate is the scenario where the marathon runner, the pro football player or even the athletic next door neighbor who feels good all the time, passes away one morning when walking to the car.  Neither of them had apparent symptoms yet they were clearly not healthy.  (We will revisit symptoms in another conversation)

The point being that symptoms are important but not an accurate way of defining one's health. 

In my search for a definition of health that covers all the bases I found the following;

' health is a condition of wholeness, and not merely the absence of symptoms, where all the cells, systems and organs of the body are functioning 100% all the time'

I like this definition even though it is fundamentally flawed.  The flaw is what I like as it begs me to ask the question that perhaps some of you have already asked,  'how do we know that we are functioning 100% all of the time'?  So it begins.  So we begin unravelling the concept of health.

The answer is that we don't know if we are functioning 100% all the time  .  (This is clearly one of the reasons that we base our perception of our health on symptoms)  Not knowing if we are functioning 100% all the time begs another question.  We either ask this question and continue our search for truth or release ourselves from responsibility for our health.   The next logical question is 'if we don't know if we are functioning 100%, lets find out what makes us function?   The real journey begins here.  We pick up speed as this answer may allow us the possibility of moving away from a symptom based reactive philosophy, even fear,  toward a proactive philosophy toward health, responsibility, and perhaps truth.

The classic definition of the nervous system is:

'the nervous system is the master system that controls and coordinates the FUNCTION of every cell, system, organ and structure in the body'

If health is defined as 'functioning at 100% all the time' and the nervous system is 'responsible for all function', then to express a condition of health we have to look to the nervous system.  No matter what the symptom or condition may be, all function is controlled and coordinated by the nervous system, therefore the symptom or conditions have to be, on some level, a nerve problem or perhaps better put, a nerve distortion problem.

Imagine for a second your body without the brain and nervous system.  We are in essence meat and bones.  Now imagine your body with a nervous system and we are a bit closer to a living functioning you.  The last part of this exercise is to imagine your body, with the brain and nervous system and the 'lights' turned on.  That light being your life force that uses the brain and nervous system to express itself… as life in the physical body. (we will deal with this in another conversation about intelligence, energy and matter)

For a more practical understanding of the nervous systems importance, we need to look no further than what happens when a nerve is damaged.  Depending on the severity we have intermittent numbness and tingling to a total loss of function. 

When I am confronted with a health concern in the office that is unusual, I ask myself the following question, one I already know the answer to, 'what is responsible for the control and coordination of all function in the body?  It could be allergies, insomnia, migraines, indigestion, dizziness etc., the approach is still the same.  When we free up the nervous system to do it's magic, we improve function and with function we have the possibility of healing and health.  Without function, we are often existing but not really 'living' for lack of a better analogy.  The nervous system is responsible for your level of health and you, by the way you live your life, along with the health care providers you choose to work with, are responsible for it's wellbeing.

To recap, we can check the following boxes:

O  health is important

O  health is a condition of wholeness, not merely the absence of symptoms where all cells, systems and organs are FUNCTIONING 100% all

     the time.

O  the nervous system controls ALL FUNCTION

O  to be in a state of health or wellbeing, we have to look t the NERVOUS SYSTEM

This conversation about moving beyond a symptom based approach to life and health, along with a basic understanding of some definitions will now allow us to start exploring practical methods of how to take care of the nervous system and the physical body, so that your life force may use both to express life.

Until next time…to change something, you have to change something

In Good Health,


Dr. Colin Rober Moore

Doctor of Chiropractic

3 Rue de L'Angle, Montreal, Aude

audechiro@gmail. com

06 09 37 65 19








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 The weather has started to cool off and it is easier to think about work in the garden.  Now is a good time to trim evergreen hedges such as box, laurel etc. It is still too early to think about autumn planting, we need to wait until we get some decent rain and usually October and November are ideal months in which to plant but it is worth thinking about plans for the autumn and ordering plants.  Also a good time to buy spring flowering bulbs.

Plants which are giving a lot of colour in the garden at the moment include the morning glories, Ipomea in botanical Latin and usually known as ipomées or volubilis in French.  The majority of morning glories are annuals (such as Crimson Rambler, Star of Yalta and Mine lobata) - these will often sow themselves year on year but to be sure, save a few seeds every year and sow them in individual pots in March or April ready to plant out after any danger of frost.  Ipomea learii is a perennial morning glory, the foliage is hardy to about -4°C but the root is hardy to about -8°C; if you have this in your garden it is a good idea to mulch the roots over winter for additional protection.


Timed to coincide with the beginning of the autumn planting season we shall be offering our two day course An Introduction to Gardening in Summer Dry Climates at La Petite Pépinière on Tuesday 8th October (11am – 1, 2 – 5pm)and  Wednesday 9th October  (10am – 12.30, 1.30 – 4pm)  2013, we hope that this timing is helpful to anyone who may be coming some distance and may want to stay overnight in or around Caunes-Minervois.  This  two day course is aimed at those relatively new to gardening in the Languedoc.  We will provide information and promote discussion in a relaxed and informal atmosphere with the aim of helping those who are wanting to create interesting, easy to maintain and colourful ornamental gardens in our summer dry climate, whether you are working on an established garden or starting from scratch.  We will consider the nature of the local climate, the physical problems associated with gardening here (heat, drought, cold, wind, soil) and how to cope with them; recognising plants which are suited to this climate; buying plants; planting techniques and maintenance.  We shall also look at design basics and planting schemes, succession – planting for year round interest and plants for particular situations, this will allow us to focus on the needs of participants.   Appropriate resources and useful French/English vocabulary will also be included as well as a guided tour of the garden here ( to illustrate points made. The course fee will be 90€ including teas/coffees (we ask you to bring a packed lunch).  For more info or to reserve a place on the course please contact(

For any garden queries do get in touch with Gill Pound ( 04 68 78 43 81 or ). La Petite Pépinière de Caunes 21, av de la Montagne Noire (route de Citou) 11160 Caunes-Minervois. Open on Fridays & Saturdays from 10 to 18h and Sunday mornings from 10 to 12h from the beginning of March until the end of November and at any time of the year by appointment.



The Property Page







Situated in the tranquil village of Castelreng, yet only 7 minutes from Limoux, this charming two story cottage makes you want to move right in. The house has been impeccably renovated but the charm of the original french home has not been compromised. As you go through the door you are welcomed by an old stone fireplace which creates the perfect environment for cozy dining. Delicious meals are prepared nearby in the beautiful 21st century kitchen which is equipped with modern appliances for your convenience


 Belveze Cottage


A bijou! Cozy stand-alone guard barrier house about 1km from Belveze-du-Razes, a full service town. Ready to move into and is sold with all furnishings included in the price. 20 minutes from Salvaza airport. Lovely mature garden plus patio, surrounded by a laurel hedge and cypress trees. Many varieties of fruit and nut trees. Ample parking. Interior is 2 up, 2 down. Living room with wood-burning fireplace insert. Ceiling height adds spaciousness to this small, affordable home. Enjoy a quick bike trip into town for croissants and pastries or an evening at the local café. Walking trails lead from the house into the vineyards and to neighboring towns.


PRICE: 79,000 euros

 front door 011smallarcher

 Razes circulade village



Period house in a beautiful Razes circulade village.  This renovated but unspoilt house is over 200 years old and has far reaching views of countryside, hills and mountains from almost every room, and a stunning roof terrace.  There are 3 double bedrooms, large lounge, separate dining room and kitchen.  There is also a very large walk-thru cellar.  The house retains many period features including a beautiful oak staircase.  Price 110,000 euros.  Please contact for further details and viewings.





Cepie, 11300 210,000€DSC00423


 Detached modern house

for sale in Montréal


Villa for sale 11390 Brousses-et-Villaret Aude 295,000 €


20120902-IMG 1663

CARCASSONNE: villa for quick sale - €135,000-


Holiday Apartment AiguaBlava,

Costa Brava


Naturist Property 115.000 euro


for 13 editions (6months)
link to your own web page

Bordebasse du Lac - Cottage available for long term rental


Semi detached house with stunning mountain views 150,000€







 Programme Rando-Razes 2013





Some vide greniers and foires!
Please check before setting off
They also have a sister site where you can giveaway stuff or find stuff others are giving
Its all recycling - you know it makes sense!
If there are two in the same town on the same day, it could be a duplicate on the site or a second event
Black = Aude - Brown = Ariege
Samedi 7 Septembre 2013  
Coursan  (Coursan)
Mouthoumet  (foire agricole de mouthoumet)
Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)
Port Leucate  (vide greniers)
L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre  (vide grenier, bourse d'échange, vide garage)
Les Bordes-sur-Arize  (vide grenier)
Saverdun  (vide-Greniers)
Dimanche 8 Septembre 2013        
Alzonne  (vide grenier au profit de la lutte contre la mucoviscidose)
Arzens  (vide-Greniers des vendanges Chorale la Malepère)
Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)
Carcassonne  (vide Grenier du Lions Club Carcassonne Terre d'Aude)
Castelnaudary  (vide grenier)
Conques-sur-Orbiel  (vide dressing (vetements accessoires))
Couiza  (vide Grenier des Joyeux Bachusiens)
Coursan  (Vide grenier)
Cruscades  (vide grenier de la peche)
Cuxac-d'Aude  (vide grenier)
Fontiès-d'Aude  (vide grenier)
Lagrasse  (brocante - vide grenier)
Le Somail  (vide greniers d'automne)
Montréal  (vide-Greniers / Marché Artisanal)
Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)
Pezens  (vide-grenier d'Ecole Sportive de Football du Fresquel)
Saint-Pierre-la-Mer  (vide grenier)
Salles-d'Aude  (vide grenier de l'amical des pompiers de salles d'aude)
Thézan-des-Corbières  (vide grenier brocante)
Villeneuve-lès-Montréal  (vide grenier)
Lavelanet  (vide grenier du quartier chinois) 


Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes)
Saverdun  (brocante / Vide-Greniers)
Verniolle  (vide grenier geant parking super U)
Samedi 14 Septembre 2013
Campagne-sur-Aude  (vide grenier)
Coursan  (Coursan)
Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)
Saverdun  (vide-Greniers)
Dimanche 15 Septembre 2013       
Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)
Cépie  (vide-grenier)
Coursan  (Vide grenier)
Lavalette  (vide grenier du F.C.Malepère)
Leucate  (vide Grenier du rugby)
Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)
Narbonne  (quatrième édition de la Fête Ensemble Avec Eux)
Narbonne-Plage  (vide grenier)
Peyriac-de-Mer  (vide-greniers associatif)
Quillan  (vide grenier)
Roquefort-des-Corbières  (loto des Vendanges d'Anim540)
Saint-Marcel sur Aude  (vide grenier du Pétanque Club Saint Marcellois)
Villeneuve-la-Comptal  (vide grenier)
Villerouge-Termenès  (vide-grenier)
Daumazan-sur-Arize  (2ème Vide Armoire)
Foix  (vide Grenier du comité amical de Labarre)
Laroque-d'Olmes  (vide grenier des majorettes laroquaises et leurs majors)
Lorp-Sentaraille  (Foire aux livres et aux vieux papiers)
Mazères  (VIDE-GRENIER (dans le cadre de la fetes des vendanges))
Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes)
Saint-Girons  (Les puces du champ de mars)

 What's On



STEVE VAI 18 Sept Bikini Toulouse



STEEL PULSE 9 Oct Bikini Toulouse


LIL WAYNE 12 Oct Zenith Toulouse

TEXAS 16 Oct Zenith Toulouse

JANE BIRKIN 19 Oct Zinga Zanga Beziers

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES 23 Oct Bikini Toulouse

FAT FREDDY'S DROP 26 Oct Bikini Toulouse

FOALS 3 Nov Bikini Toulouse

SUEDE 4 Nov Bikini Toulouse

PIXIES 5 Nov Le Phare Toulouse

MORCHEEBA 9 nov Bikini Toulouse

CAT EMPIRE 10 Nov Bikini Toulouse  


ROMEO ET JULIETTE 15 Nov Zenith Toulouse

PHOENIX 16 Nov Zenith Toulouse

MAMMA MIA! 22 and 23 Nov Zenith Toulouse

CARLA BRUNI 27 Nov Casino Theatre Barriere, Toulouse

JAKE BUGG 10 Dec Bikini Toulouse


CARLA BRUNI 17 Jan Zinga Zanga Beziers

WITHIN TEMPTATION 20 Jan Bikini Toulouse 


CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, QUIDAM 5 TO 9 March Zenith Toulouse

JOHN MAYALL 8 March Bikini Toulouse

BETH HART 19 March Bikini Toulouse

HOLIDAY ON ICE 21 to 23 March Zenith Toulouse

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 On a Lighter note



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