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Despite almost as much litigation surrounding him at the end of his last term in office as Berlusconi (and he’s gone very quiet, that’s a worry) Sarko is planning a comeback.  He even has some policies, these are the headings:

Later retirement

Civil service cuts

Longer work week

Government spending limits

No new gay rights

Cut taxes


A French economist wins the Nobel prize for, well you would think overspending, but no.  He has been awarded the prize for his microeconomic research investigating how large firms should be regulated in order to prevent consumers beingdamaged by their monopolistic behaviour. But doesn’t that does sort of fall into the big brother side of communist thinking?


So the winner from the Air France strike was EasyJet, and as far as I know no resolution was reached, between Air France and pilots.


There is another strike planned for tomorrow - the CGT the country’s largest union is to protest the changes to the social security system, it will manifest itself differently in different parts of the country, so watch out.



So now there is screening occurring at airports with direct flights from countries with Ebola outbreaks and I am not sure that’s quite enough.  It could be useful if the two major media stories of Isis and Ebola could be combined and Isis fighters contracted the disease, ooops no that’s as against the Geneva convention as beheading.  Will they start using suicide Ebola victims spitting on a plane load of passengers?   Not sure of the choice of name for this virus, it sounds like a close relative to tombola.









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Lost in France


Our local village tips have closed.  There used to be two of them, a small one for wood, garden waste and engine oil just outside the village and then another one, down the hill for general building rubbish, rubble, metal and cardboard.  Perhaps it was just our village that had two tips and other villages have only one.  The one here was used by a lot of professional builders from out of the area who used to dump interesting building materials without paying a charge. 

Even though it’s a small village it is a farming community so a lot of rubbish accumulates.  I’m not sure why the tips have been closed, probably to do with cost-cutting and reducing the amount of fuel used by the collection vehicles.  Now we have to use tips miles away and whichever way you look at it it's an hour round trip driving to any of these places.  So an hour’s worth of fuel on twisty roads does nothing to help the environment and just ends up costing us instead of the council money.   And I thought some of our taxes went into the collection of rubbish.

I walked down to the lower tip to see if it really was closed and it has, with brutal efficiency the tip has been filled in, boulders placed out across its access way and a sign installed which says it is forbidden to dump rubbish here followed by a list of the type if rubbish you can’t dump (which I thought a bit unnecessary as if dumping was banned, all dumping was banned, but there you go). 

But to make matters worse on the fuel consumption front, this is the view at the Limoux Leclerc petrol station where they are burning off residual fuel from the old pumps as the petrol station has now moved.  I guess this must be the ONLY way to remove petrol?



Foire Aux Vins Réservez la Date 2014 aude 

JAZZ KID DUTCH 16.11.aude 

 lenetwork  Joinery 3








PLANNING TO RETIRE TO FRANCE – don’t get caught in the tax trap!


Retiring to France can be dream come true for many people. The thought of that ‘place in the sun’ motivates us to save as much as we can whilst we are working. If we can retire early – so much the better!


In the excitement of finding ‘la belle maison’ in ‘le beau village’, we really don’t want to think about some of the nasty things in life.  I am referring to death and taxes. We can’t avoid these and so better to plan for the inevitable. Sadly, some people do not plan before making the move to France and only realise this mistake when it is too late to turn the clock back.


For example, investments that are tax-free in your home country will not usually be tax-free in France. This includes UK cash ISAs and premium bond winnings, as well as certain other National Savings Investments, all of which would be taxable in France. So too would dividends, even if held within a structure that is tax-efficient elsewhere. All of these will be subject to French income tax at your marginal rate (ranging from 0% to 45%) plus social contributions of 15.5%.


Gains arising from the sale of shares and investment funds will be liable to capital gains tax. The taxable gain, after any applicable taper relief, will be added to other taxable income and taxed at your marginal rate. Social contributions are charged on the full gain.


If you receive any cash sum from your retirement funds, for example, the Pension Commencement Lump Sum from UK pension funds, this would be taxed in France. The amount will be added to your other taxable income or under certain conditions, it can be taxed at a fixed rate of 7.5%. Furthermore, if France is responsible for the cost of your healthcare, you will also pay social contributions of 7.1%.


Distributions received from a trust would also be taxed in France and there is no distinction made between capital and income – even if you are the settlor of the trust.


As a resident in another country, it would be natural for you to take advantage of any tax-efficiency being offered in that jurisdiction, as far as you can reasonably afford. So it is logical that you would do the same in France.


Happily, France has its own range of tax-efficient savings and investments. However, some planning and realisation of existing investments is likely to be needed before you become French resident, if you wish to avoid paying unnecessary taxes after becoming French resident.


I mentioned death above and as part of the tax-efficient planning for retirement, inheritance planning should not be overlooked. France believes that assets should pass down the bloodline and children are ‘protected heirs’, so they are treated more favourably than surviving spouses. Therefore, action is needed to protect the survivor, but this could come at a cost to the children – particularly step-children – in terms of the potential inheritance tax bill for them.


Whilst there might be a certain amount of ‘freedom of choice’ for some expatriate French residents from August 2015, as a result of the introduction of the EU Succession Rules, this only concerns the possibility of being able to decide who you wish to leave your estate to and so will not get around the potential French inheritance tax bill, which for step-children would still be 60%. Therefore, inheritance planning is still needed and a good notaire can advise you on the options open to you relating to property.


For financial assets, fortunately there are easier solutions already existing and investing in assurance vie is the most popular choice for this purpose. Conveniently, this is also the solution for providing personal tax-efficiency for you. There is a range of French products available, as well as international versions. In the main, the international products are generally more suited to expatriates as a much wider choice of investment options is available (compared to the French equivalent), as well as a range of currency options (including Sterling, Euros and USDs).


If possible, you should seek independent financial planning advice before making the move to France. A good adviser will be able to carry out a full financial review and identify any potential issues. This will give you the opportunity to take whatever action is necessary to avoid having to pay large amounts of tax to the French government, after becoming resident.


Even if you have already made the move to France, it may still worth seeking advice, particularly if you are suffering the effects of high taxation on your investment income and gains or you are concerned about the potential inheritance taxes for your family. A full review of your personal and financial situation enables us to identify any issues and recommend solutions that will meet your long-term goals and objectives.


If you would like to have a confidential discussion about your financial situation, 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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Tech Talk

Not all chargers are the same.


We all have devices that have rechargeable batteries but did you know there is a huge difference in the technology of those batteries compared to 10 years ago. We all remember the old laptop or phone that you have to be very careful charging, wait for it to run flat then fully charge it before you could use it and to never charge it when it was half full/empty. Thankfully those days are long gone.


Batteries now use Lithium-ion technology which have big advantages over the old Nickel-cadmium batteries. It means modern batteries can be charged at any time, no matter how much or how little charge they have in them. They last roughly the same length of time their whole lives and do not reduce in power the lower in charge they get.


So what’s the downside? Life span, a typical Lithium-ion battery is good for between 1000 and 2000 charges or 2 to 2 ½ years, after that the performance and capacity of the battery is great reduced. Another downside is that poorly made or faulty Lithium-ion batteries can explode the materials they are made from are highly volatile when exposed to air or if the battery is short-circuited. All Lithium-ion batteries are sealed and have protections circuits inside to help protect them.


There are a few things you can do the keep your Lithium-ion batteries in good condition. The easiest is to keep them cool, if it’s your laptop battery then keeping the laptop its-self cool by using a cooling tray (not using it on your lap – worst thing you can do with a laptop).


Charge using the correct charger, some chargers charge faster than others – not all chargers are the same. Some have very clever circuits to allow fast charging while also keeping the battery cool. Some fast chargers are not so clever and simply push more electricity into the battery making it very hot and reducing its life. Unfortunately is very difficult to tell which so buying the manufactures branded charger is the only way to be sure, or good brand name like Belkin.


TOP TIP: The very easiest way of all – is never leave a Lithium-ion battery flat, always charge it the very moment it runs out. Lithium-ion does not like to be flat and it seriously damages the internal workings of the battery and greatly reducing its life.


So even though most chargers now have a USB connection and the plug fit everything from phones to tablets and cameras and kindles each charger may be slightly different and may change one device faster than another.

Slow charging over 8 to 10 hours with any charger that has the USB connection is safe, so when you go away on holiday and only want to take one charger its quite safe to do so.

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.










Bridge Problem


You are in 7NT and they lead the King of clubs. Drat. Any other lead would not have been a problem....can you see a solution?






10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3


Your hand


Q J 10

J 9 8 7 6 5 4





All those lovely tricks horribly blocked. If you cash the A K Q of diamonds in Dummy there is no way back to your hand... the only solution is to play for a singleton ten of diamonds. Win the lead and play the AK of spades, throwing the AK of hearts from Dummy. Now play QJ10 of hearts from your hand, throwing the AKQ of diamonds! Then, hold your breath and play the Jack of diamonds. if the ten drops, you are home!!!




Lizzie Godfrey


meteo ciel3














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Late September has brought quite a lot of rain to much of the Languedoc (and far too much in some areas, our sympathies with those in the Hérault and the Gard who have had some severe flooding problems) but the moisture that is now in the ground means that from now until early December is a very good time to be planting new plants, moving shrubs and dividing perennials.  Remember that planting in autumn is best for the vast majority of plants since they can start to establish roots and their watering requirements will be reduced next summer.  But, do note that slightly tender plants such as bougainvillea, plumbago and perennial morning glory are better planted in spring.  There should be no further need to be watering gardens so hoses etc can be taken in and stored for the winter.

There is still plenty of colour in the garden; asters are always good for a show later in the year - the photo here shows Aster oblongifolius from dry regions of North America.  The autumn rain has also encouraged the Nerines into flower, bulbs from South Africa which have been dormant all summer.


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 to look rather than to buy!   Regular opening times for the rest of this year will be  7th, 8th & 9th November.    Remember too that we are always happy to organise guided visits of the garden here for groups.

On Saturday 15th November we shall hold our autumn sale.  As usual there will be a tour of the garden in the morning, there will be many plants at sale prices (because it is much better for plants to spend the winter in the ground rather than in pots!) and La Table d'Emilie will again be providing a meal at 15€ per head- the menu is

Spiced Butternut squash soup with a lemon creme fraiche and harrisa 

Coq au vin with seasonal vegetables

Chocolate marquise toasted hazelnut cream

(Wine will be available)

  Meal by reservation only (phone 04 68 78 70 10 or email   Catriona McLean will be here  with quality garden tools and Harry will be exhibiting her hank drums again. 

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


'Ageing gardener wants to keep a bit fit; do you have a push lawn mower you could spare? Side wheel variety preferred, but not essential. Mirepoix area.'  - 05 61 60 06 63.


Hi Steve
Yet another amusing Flyer, thanks.
Regarding driving. There is the three second rule whereby you should be 3 seconds behind the vehicle in front, that way automatically the distance increases with speed. Also, it is easy to assess as a driver. Just pick a point when the car in front passes & count. If the gap is less than 3 seconds you are too close. Try it for yourself, you will be surprised how big the gap should be!
The only problem here on French motorways is that if you leave a 3 second gap four Frenchmen will jump into it!
Best Regards, keep up the good work.

Richard Bicknell


Whilst I totally agree with the sentiments expressed about the fascination for exhaust pipes displayed by the great preponderance of French drivers, might I suggest that if it tales 5-10 seconds to react to an emergency situation, then the person concerned is unfit to drive even a wheelbarrow.

John Fielden






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


Vendredi 17 Octobre 2014


Les Pujols  Bourse aux jouets et matériel de puericulture


Samedi 18 Octobre 2014


Castelnaudary Vide grenier association 2tk


Coursan Vide grenier


Fleury d'aude Vide grenier


Les Pujols  Bourse aux jouets et matériel de puericulture


Saverdun Vide grenier + brocante


Dimanche 19 Octobre 2014


Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante


Castelnaudary Vide grenier association 2tk


Couiza Bourse aux vêtement de l'asso. " Au Coeur des Estamounets"


Coursan Vide grenier


Coursan Vide grenier de L'association Gabyn et Eulaly


Cuxac-d'Aude Bourses aux vetements


Cuxac-d'Aude Produit du terroir et vide grenier


Moussoulens  Vide grenier


Moux Vide grenier Mouxois


Narbonne Vide grenier associatif


Ornaisons Vide grenier association Ornaisons-Nature


Port-la-Nouvelle Vide Grenier de la CALENDRETA


Rieux-Minervois Vide-grenier - 12ème Fête de la Citrouille


Saint-André-de-Roquelongue Vide grenier brocante


Saint-Paulet Vide grenier, foire artisanale et produits du terroir


Salles-d'Aude Vide grenier et fête de la bière


Villalier Vide grenier


Villemoustaussou Vide dressing adulte


Dreuilhe Fete de la chataigne 11ème anniversaire


Engomer Marché thème "foire aux livres"


Les Pujols Bourse aux jouets et matériel de puericulture


Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes


Saint-Félix-de-Rieutort Vide grenier des ecoles


Saint-Girons Salon d'automne toutes collections


Saint-Jean-du-Falga Vide grenier foire

Samedi 25 Octobre 2014

Coursan  Vide grenier

Saverdun  Vide greniers +brocante

Dimanche 26 Octobre 2014

Argeliers Vide grenier du bsm 15





Arzens Vide Dressing de la chorale la Malepere


Azille Vide grenier Jeux Lyonnais et Pétanque


BoutenacVide-greniers et marché aux pucespour la chapelle de St Siméon


Boutenac Vide grenier


Canet  Vide Grenier du Rugby


Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante


Coursan Vide grenier


Ginestas  mega Vide grenier


Moussoulens Vide grenier


Saint-Laurent-de-la-Cabrerisse Vide grenier des Teenagers MJC


Sigean Vide Grenier des Enfants: puériculture, vêtements, jouets


Villalier Vide grenier


Le Mas-d'Azil  Vide greniers

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Tarascon-sur-Ariège Vide greniers

Samedi 1 Novembre 2014

Coursan  Vide grenier

Fabrezan Vide Grenier du Handball

Rustiques Vide grenier

Bélesta Vide-grenier

Dimanche 2 Novembre 2014

Bram Vide dressing bourse aux jouets

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Conques-sur-Orbiel Vide grenier brocantes

Coursan Vide grenier

Coursan Grand vide grenier anime du club 70

Limoux La mensuelle brocante

Moussoulens Vide grenier

Prat-de-Cest Vide-grenier

Raissac-d'Aude Vide grenier et marché gourmand

Saint-Marcel sur Aude Vide grenier

Salles-d'Aude Bourse aux jouets et puericulture

Villalier Vide grenier

Mazères Vide grenier mensuel

Pamiers  Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-Lizier  Marché aux Puces, de la cave au grenier 



 What's On





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



















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