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Perhaps this year will see France’s winter of discontent as there are talks of civil disturbances and social unrest. Someone has actually worked out that the paper Liberation was losing 22,000€ a day by being overstaffed with people who were probably overpaid and residing in fancy downtown offices, you need to find your Wapping!


The wonderful Air France pilots have had enough because they are scared the company is building up its low cost arm Transavia.   Yet bizarrely British Airways survived in the marketplace alongside two of the biggest ‘no frills’ airlines. But really that’s got a lot to do with the extraordinary number of eastern Europeans that work in the UK and go home to visit whilst also have family coming to visit them.  So from that perspective Transavia can’t get very big unless the French labour market is unleashed.


What about the silly goings on at Toulouse 111 university?  Too many students for  the Science and Nature course, it would seem that they need to be take notice of Mr Darwin’s natural selection before accepting students for places, or at least keep a tally so they will know when  they have too many.  Another faculty decided to have a lottery to see who would be allowed to do the course – bonkers!  There clearly needs to be a selection of the best Bac results plus highish student fees which have to be returned, with a bonus if the student achieves a certain grade, sorted!


Another reported case of Dengue fever in Toulon, the patient has fully recovered....


Scotland.  Well - it was years ago that the permission for a referendum was granted and now it’s upon us.   Culloden and even the poll tax are too far in the past, so shouldn’t everyone just get on with it?  Will they have to rename the Duke of Edinburgh, and flog off Balmoral, if the ‘Yes’ boys win?  It’s just wrong, but clearly the brain-washing of the Scots (by themselves) has led to this.  And if it’s ‘No’ I am sure the call will be “best of 3 then” ending up like them French Canadians and their neverendum.


As it’s warm and it seems the harsh weather is further east, keep safe you Heraultians.  Have a look on this website and the sites open this weekend for the European heritage days.  Go on, there must have been hundreds of good folk slaving away on this in Brussels -








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Lost in France


I know insurance is a necessary evil, but sometimes it is more evil than it needs to be.  Now the motorbike is up and running, I’ve been trying to insure it.

I went to my current vehicle insurers and they quoted €291 for a 23 year old Suzuki trails bike.  It seemed a bit steep.

I went on a couple of price comparison sites, the first one just went round and round, asking an impossible question that I couldn’t answer, it gave me an option to put in the bike make and model but wouldn’t let me go any further, so I gave up.  The second one I went on gave me several quotes and I went for the one that offered me €180.  I tried to contact them through the on-line link but that wouldn’t work so eventually I called them.  I gave them the quotation number and some more information to be told that I couldn’t have that price or any other price as they wouldn’t insure me because I didn’t have my house insurance with them.


Undeterred I sent a general email to five local insurance companies.   I received three replies.  One said they didn’t insure bikes.  Another said it would be around €200 but when I suggested they might want some more information I received no response.  The final one asked for more information which I sent, came back with the price of €201 and I snatched their hand off.  They then asked for a copy of the carte grise and as it was dated from May 2013 (and we were now in August 2014) they asked me where it had been since then.  I said it had been in a garage as it was being repaired.  They told me they couldn’t insure it because it should have been insured immediately we had received the carte grise.  The only way they could insure it now was if we changed the name of the owner.  Changing the name on the carte grise would have cost around €95 and the bike would then not have been in the name of the rider so I gave up and reverted to the original insurer out of frustration.






 JAZZ 26.09.2014 aude


 lenetwork  Joinery 1



MARIS1 AD jpeg 378x200 

CCF Adcrclinic



 As I am writing this article, the hot topic of the moment is of course the Scottish Referendum on Independence. The polls are swinging from one direction to the other, but only by a small margin between the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’ camps. The final result will most likely be very close.



Even the Queen has uncharacteristically got a little involved in the politics, by expressing her hope to a well-wisher in Scotland that people will think very carefully about the future. Whatever the result of the referendum, it is clear that the United Kingdom will change.


What will happen to investment markets if Scotland votes yes? Well the wider world outside of Scotland seems to have woken up to what is actually happening in Scotland. Sterling has weakened amidst the uncertainty of the outcome, but beyond this, I am not bold enough to forecast any further effect on markets. Like any other investment risk, it needs to be managed.


On this subject, The Spectrum IFA Group has produced a Guide to Investment Risk. This has been written in plain, no nonsense, down-to-earth English and covers a range of assets classes and strategies. The individual articles included in the Guide can be found on our website at:


Alternatively, if you would like to receive a full copy of this Guide, please contact me.


We are also taking bookings for our Autumn client seminar – “Le Tour de Finance - Bringing Experts to Expats”. Our industry experts will be presenting updates and outlooks on a broad range of subjects, including:


Financial Markets

Assurance Vie


Structured Investments

French Tax issues

Currency Exchange


Places for our seminars are limited and must be reserved, in advance. The date for the local seminar is

Friday, 10th October 2014 at the Domaine Gayda, 11300 Brugairolles. So if you would like to attend the event, please contact me as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you are reading this further afield, you may be interested in attending one of our other events and full details of all venues can be found on our website at


If you cannot attend one of our seminars and you would anyway like to have a confidential discussion about any aspect of financial and/or inheritance planning, please contact me either by e-mail at or by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17.


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 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




Daphne Foulkes

SIRET 522 658 194 00017

Numéro d’immatriculation ORIAS 10 056 800




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Forum:      Local Association No : W112000594




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Get the most out of living in France

By Mary Taylor, Partner, Blevins Franks

05 62 30 51 40           



There are many attractions and advantages to living in France. However there are some drawbacks too, such as unfamiliar local bureaucracy and a complex, expensive and frequently changing tax regime. 


To get the best out of living here, your financial planning should be specifically set up to work well and provide advantages in France, while taking your family’s situation into account.  You need to understand how the various French taxes impact you – social charges, wealth tax and the succession tax rules can be an unwelcome surprise for British nationals, not to mention succession law – and how you can use the rules to your advantage.


Establish what the best savings and investment strategy is for you now, and look at how all the options for your pension funds would work in France, from a general and tax perspective.  Consider also capital gains tax on selling your UK assets and if you can avoid it.


The Blevins Franks Guide to Living in France has been written to provide UK nationals with the key information they need regarding tax and wealth management in France.  It is useful whether you are at the planning stages of moving here, are a new arrival or have been living here a while, or if you own a holiday home here. 


The new, Edition 7 has 26 chapters covering a range of topics, from purchasing a French property, to French taxation, to pensions and QROPS, to shedding UK residence and avoiding UK capital gains tax.


Blevins Franks has been providing specialist advice to British expatriates for decades.  The Blevins Franks Guide to Living in France is based on our vast experience and deep understanding of expatriates’ financial planning needs. To obtain a copy of the book please contact me on 05 62 30 51 40 or


Changes affecting expatriates in France and “Removing the Myths” seminars.


Besides keeping up to date with changes in France, British expatriates still need to understand how the UK tax regime may continue to affect them and follow any proposed tax reforms. 


Taxing non-residents on property gains - Under current rules, provided you are non-UK resident for five years, you do not pay UK capital gains tax when selling UK assets.   But from next April non-residents disposing of UK residential property will start being charged UK tax on the gains.  


Restricting the personal allowance for non-residents - The UK government is considering withdrawing the personal allowance from non-residents, except those with a strong economic connection to the UK.


More pension freedom From April 2015 individuals aged over 55 will be able to withdraw as much of their UK pension funds as they wish.  UK taxpayers will pay tax at their marginal income tax rate (above the tax free lump sum).  Here in France, the taxation of lump sums provides an attractive opportunity for you, and you could pay much less tax than in the UK. 


Succession law – France imposes strict restrictions on who you can leave your assets to.  Children are protected heirs; spouses are not protected.  From August 2015 new EU wide regulations – “Brussels IV” – will allow you to elect for the laws of your country of nationality to apply instead.  Note that French succession tax will continue to apply, so you should consider the tax position and seek advice on how to lower the liability for your heirs.


To help you make sense of all these changes and understand how they affect you and what the solutions are, we are holding seminars covering these important issues. 


CANET-EN-ROUSSILLON   Host & Vinum - Les Clos des Pins | Tuesday 23 September

GIMONT (Near Auch)   Château de Larroque | Thursday 25 September

To reserve your place, call 05 62 30 51 40, email           , or click here to book online.


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





















Tech Talk



The Worst Software Ever


Below are a list of a few pieces of software that I advise you look for on your computer and if you find them then remove them before they cause you trouble.


Trusteer Raport or Endpoint Security.

Spyware from your bank, this program is suggested by your bank they say its security software but its not it’s a program that spies on your internet activity. Its also slows your computer down and causes problem that makes your browser crash – Remove it from your computer.


Microsoft Security essentials.

Microsoft attempt at Antivirus software, it only scans for around 20 known viruses so it totally useless against the 3 million other viruses that can affect your computer. Uninstall it from your computer and install a real virus scanner like AVG or Avast.


Norton Antivirus or Internet security.

The worst piece of Adware on the plant, if it was half as good at protecting you as it is at advertising its self then it might be a good virus scanner. In fact it’s a very poor virus scanner that cost a lot of money. Uninstall it from your computer and install a real virus scanner like AVG or Avast.


McAfee Antivirus

An OK virus scanner not the best or the most effective, it has one very big downside its extremely large and extraordinary SLOW!!! This causes your computer to run slowly, causes the browser to crash and pages to unresponsive. Uninstall it from your computer and install a real virus scanner like AVG or Avast.


Panda Antivirus

Very pretty but completely useless as a virus scanner it more likely to block things you want and know are safe than find anything dangerous.  Uninstall it from your computer and install a real virus scanner like AVG or Avast.



This one has been around for a very long time, a free email program that look nice, has lots of additions and even talks to you. What they don’t tell you is that its sharing your email out over the internet so that it can be used for marketing, who knows who’s reading it. Uninstall it and download Thunderbird which is very good and safe.


Advance System care

This reports to be a program that will clean and speed up your computer. Its more likely to remove vital components from the Windows registry and therefore crash the computer. Do not trust program that report they will fix everything and boost your speed – 99% are fakes and are dangerous to use. Ccleaner does all these things and it 100% safe.


Driver Booster

A program that look for out of date drivers on your computer and updates them to the latest version. Unfortunately is all too often misidentifies the hardware and download the wrong driver which will cause the computer to crash. Remove this kind of software from your computer – instead look at the Windows update Optional updates for Microsoft approved and tested driver updates.


Hotspot shield

A neat utility to hide your location allowing you to access things like iPlayer, unfortunately it is also used to spy on your internet activity and can be used to hack your computer and install Malware. Its not safe uninstall it from the computer and check out very safe and much better.


Nitro PDF

This comes installed on many new computers, it reports to be a free PDF reader but after a few uses it wants you to register and pay for it. All you get when you pay is the ability to create PDF documents, which you can do for free using PDFcreator, Libreoffie, Openoffice and many other free programs. Remove it and download the real Adobe PDF reader.


Opera Browser

This browser alternative has been around for a long time, its used to be the fastest browser and much safe then Internet explorer or Firefox but it has lost its way over the years. The real downside for me is that the free version is Ad supported meaning part of the page/toolbar area is taken up by an advert. And why pay for a browser when Google Chrome is 100% free and so good.


My PC Backup and Boxore Client

These two are often found lurking on computers, they are both fake programs that steal data and open the flood gates to other unwanted programs. If you see either of these programs then you should uninstall them IMEADIATLY and run a full scan with Malwarebytes and ADWcleaner to make sure the computer is safe to use.


Three Safe programs that can save the day.


Ccleaner – a cleaner that removes junk and temporary file, cleans the registry and cane be used to uninstall program and stop program from starting.


Malwarebytes – A fantastic free scanner that look for malicious programs and things that your virus scanner misses. It not only finds them but removes them too.


ADWcleaner – This neat little program finds and remove adware and browser hijacks, its free to download and use but its update regularly so you need to download the latest version each and every time you use it.



If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice. or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.








You are in three no trumps and they lead the six of spades to the King on your right. Win or duck? Over to you.


S 4 3 2
H K 7 6 2
D Q J 10
C A J 4

Your hand

S A 10 8
H A 4 3
D A 7 3 2
C K Q 9



           Will you duck the lead? There is no point as your first play is to cross to Dummy and to take the diamond finesse into the hand of the opening leader. You should win the Ace and hope that the suit breaks 4/3 or that your right-hand-opponent has K J doubleton thereby blocking the suit or promoting your ten. The rule of eleven (subtract the pip on lead from eleven and that is how many cards out above the pip in the other three hands) shows your right hand opponent to have two higher cards so you live in hope.



Lizzie Godfrey 


meteo ciel3














 Le Flyer est disponible dans d'autres langues via le site web,







At the time of writing these notes most gardens are still woefully dry although the thunderstorms in the area on Monday the 8th brought downpours to a few lucky people.  It is still too early to be planting for the autumn but it is useful to think about what you might be wanting to add to your garden later this autumn and starting to prepare the ground.  Many deciduous trees are starting to lose their leaves, instead of burning them it is much better to rake these up and add them to the compost heap. I was asked recently what I meant by compost ...  compost is a natural, organic fertiliser which adds nutrients to the soil as well as organic material and improves soil structure.  Make it yourself and it is free!  It can be made from dry leaves & grass, deadheaded flowers, annual weeds, shredded garden prunings, fruit & vegetable waste from the house, tea leaves etc.  As a rough guide it is best to aim for a 50:50 mix of "brown" and "green" material and to mix these in evenly.  It is often thought that one cannot make compost in a summer dry climate but it can be done - if possible, site your compost heap in a shady place, keep it moist in summer and cover it with something like a layer of old carpet or some tarpaulin to help conserve moisture in summer.   I have no experience myself but some of our customers swear by wormery compost systems and there is a company at Pezenas which produces these -

Other jobs to do at the moment include starting to plant bulbs and continuing to weed and dead head.

One very pretty little perennial which is giving an excellent display at the moment is Justicia (sometimes labelled Jacobinia or Dicliptera) sub-erecta from Uraguay.  It has velvety, grey-green foliage andtubular orange flowers from July until late September.  Grows to about 40cm high with a similar spread and likes sun or half shade.  Unless your climate is very mild it will disappear in the winter (so take care to label it) and regrow from the rootstock in spring.

At La Petite Pépinière we have a couple of places left on our two day gardening course this autumn, 

 Introduction to Gardening in Summer Dry Climates

Tuesday 14th October (11am – 1, 2 – 5pm) and Wednesday 15th October  (10am – 12.30, 1.30 – 4pm)  2014

A two day course which is aimed at those relatively new to gardening in the Languedoc.  The aim is to provide information and promote discussion in a relaxed and informal atmosphere which will help those interested in creating interesting, easy to maintain and colourful ornamental gardens in our summer dry climate.  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 these varied problems particularly dealing with drought and thinking about “waterwise” gardening; recognising plants which are appropriate 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, for example dry shade or slopes.  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 is designed for a group of between six and twelve people to allow time to discuss individual issues and problems.

Course fee: 90 euros, including teas & coffees.  Please bring a packed lunch.  For further info or to book a place please email


Regular opening times at La Petite Pépinière are limited to just to one weekend a month but the garden is always open by appointment - just email or phone to organise a time.  We encourage people to visit the garden during the summer to look rather than to buy!   Regular opening times for the rest of this year will be  10th, 11th & 12th October and 7th, 8th & 9th November.  Remember too that we are always happy to organise guided visits of the garden here for groups.

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.

La Petite Pépinière de Caunes
21, av de la Montagne Noire,
11160 Caunes-Minervois
04 68 78 43 81
















The Property Page





 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 99,000 euros. .





Former Presbetary with courtyard near town centre



 Village house to renovate with a courtyard of 80m²





Bordebasse du Lac - Cottage available for long term rental

 Detached modern house

for sale in Montréal


Holiday Apartment AiguaBlava,

Costa Brava


Naturist Property 97,500 euro


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


 readers write



all replies to please

















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 20 Septembre 2014

Coursan vide grenier

Saverdun vide greniers +brocante

Dimanche 21 Septembre 2014

Albières Vide grenier

Belpech Vide grenier/brocante organisé par ADIAPIC

Brousses-et-Villaret Brousses et Villaret vide grenier

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Carcassonne vide grenier

Castelnaudary vide grenier quartier Mauléon

Coursan vide grenier

Donazac vide grenier

Espéraza Vide Grenier de la St Michel

Fontiès-d'Aude Vide grenier

Limoux Vide grenier des vendanges

Magrie Les Amis de L'Eglise " Saint Julien"

Montferrand Vide grenier de Montferrand

Moussan Vide grenier de l'us Moussan petanque

Moussoulens vide grenier

Narbonne vide grenier ASPTT

Narbonne-Plage Vide grenier de la MJC de Narbonne-Plage

Névian Grand Vide Grenier de L'APE La Farandole Névian

Pexiora Vide grenier de Pexiora

Rieux-Minervois bourse moto et vide grenier

Saint-André-de-Roquelongue  vide grenier brocante bourse au jouets

Sallèles-d'Aude vide grenier

Souilhe vide grenier

Trèbes Vide-grenier du Vieux Village

 Villemoustaussou vide grenier

Baulou Vide grenier (Vagabon'récup)

Bénaix Vide grenier




Bonnac vide-grenier organisé par le Bonnac Olympique


Dalou vide poussette jouets vetements enfants puericulture

Laroque-d'Olmes Vide grenier de la rentrée

Le Peyrat Vide grenier du Comité des fêtes du Peyrat

Lorp-Sentaraille Foire aux livres et aux vieux papiers

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-Girons Les puces du champ de mars

Sautel 10e Fête de la Transhumance

Savignac-les-Ormeaux Bourse aux vetements

Samedi 27 Septembre 2014

Coursan vide grenier

Saverdun salon d'antiquaires

Saverdun vide grenier

Dimanche 28 Septembre 2014

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Castelnau-d'Aude Vide greniers du comité des fêtes

Conques-sur-Orbiel vide grenier de l'ECV XV

Coursan Vide grenier

Cuxac-d'Aude Vide grenier - Foire d'automne

Gaja-et-Villedieu Vide grenier du comité des fêtes

Homps Vide Grenier de l'école de Homps

Moussoulens vide grenier

Narbonne Vide grenier Arpan- Chenil du Grand Narbonne

Narbonne  Vide Grenier des Amis du R.C.N.M.

Narbonne-Plage Vide-Greniers APE Gaston Bonheur

Raissac-sur-Lampy 2ème puce des couturières

Tourreilles Vide Grenier du Comité des Fêtes de Tourreilles

Trausse-Minervois Vide grenier - vide dressing

Canté Vide-grenier

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Saverdun salon d'antiquaires

Saverdun vide grenier


Vernajoul vide grenier pour l'école Baulou/Vernajoul




 What's On





PHARRELL WILLIAMS 6 Oct Zenith Toulouse

LILY ALLEN 29 Oct Zenith Toulouse

IMELDA MAY 3 Nov Bikini Toulouse

ULI JON ROTH 4 Nov Bikini Toulouse

THE DO 9 Nov Bikini Toulouse





PINK MARTINI 10 Nov Halle aux grains Toulouse

GONG 14 Nov Metronum Toulouse

PETER GABRIEL 16 Nov Zenith Toulouse

SAXON +SKID ROW 26 Nov Bikini Toulouse

ANGUS & JULIA STONE 7 Dec Bikini Toulouse

DISNEY ON ICE 30 Jan 1 Feb Zenith Toulouse

DIRTY DANCING 1/3 May Zenith Toulouse














According to reliable information received from contacts within the Westminster Parliamentary circle the following suggestion is gathering support:

If Scotland gains its independence in the forthcoming referendum the remainder of the United Kingdom will be known as the Former United Kingdom or, more simply, FUK. In a bid to discourage Scots from voting YES in the referendum, the Government are considering campaigning with the slogan VOTE NO FOR FUK’S SAKE as many MPs are of the opinion that Scottish voters will be able to relate more easily to these words……





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Give away items


1 image and 25 words, plus contact details

All items for sale inc Motor vehicles, boats, caravans & trailers

25 €

1 image and 25 words, plus contact details in 3 editions




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50 €

up to 8 images and 500 words, plus contact details - your own property web page linked to the "Property Page" section of the Flyer for 13 editions

Large Display Advert - Corporate


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Standard Display Advert - Corporate


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Large Display Advert - Small Companies and Sole Traders (at my discretion)


Finished artwork to be 756 pixels by 200 pixels landscape or 378 pixels by 400 pixels portrait

Standard Display Advert - Small Companies and Sole Traders (at my discretion)

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What's on feature advert

35 €

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information about advertising rates and specifications.
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Send details to of your advert to Steve Hedges.
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