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So the chap in Greece got elected on an “anti austerity” manifesto and after sitting down with Team Merkel had to come up with an answer to suit everyone. Surely he didn’t though? The way I read it is everything continues as was. With the screws turned down as hard as ever on restricting spending and with the lending arrangements only extended on the basis that the Greek Government was going to look for more of the money that’s leaking from the economy i.e. tax evasion and smuggling, it is surprising that the voters haven't kicked off yet.


The French account with Geurope, or is it Eurmany? It isn't looking too clever and wasn’t Mr Hollande’s ticket one of cutting the cutbacks.  Well I have tried to look up the manifesto from 2012 and almost fell asleep trying to understand and take it in. There are 60 points, how can that have worked with the proletariat? Clearly it didn’t and it was a vote against change, housekeeping clearances and a simplified system.


What would have happened if DSK hadn't been accused of rape by a New York chambermaid?  If he had become French President and then had been in court for his libertine behaviours of an afternoon it would be a little odd, but I suppose by then he could have hidden behind the protection of the title?  It seems the lady who accused him in 2011, Nafissatou Diallo, did reputedly receive close to $1.5m as settlement and has opened her own restaurant, so on the bright side….


World cup final on December 23rd, someone is really having a laugh.  Where will programmers put Morecambe and Wise and the multitude of Kringle schmalzy films? But seriously though, surely all European footie fans should start boycotting matches now and say they have no interest in it changing from a euro summer event, and those nice people who received brown envelopes can give them back and the stadiums can be used for falconry or some over-favoured Middle Eastern pastime.


Another fabulous BBC news subtitle booboo, the other day Prime Minister Netanyahu was visiting the USA, he was referred to as Net in Yahoo.


Not long now, and this year the clocks going back coincides with Toques et Clochers, which can be very useful.




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Lost in France


Having spent a lifetime enjoying the benefits of the free health care system that is the NHS, it doesn’t really come as a surprise that the French system is very different.  I can understand that applying for the Carte Vitale allows a partial payment of medical care and drugs and having lived in the USA for some time I can also understand the need for top-up insurance payments to cover the shortfall from the partial payment and the actual amount. 



But what I found difficult to understand were the prescriptions and the dispensing of drugs.   I’m not the only one to have a problem with this as I’ve recently discovered a book called ‘A La Mod – My so-called tranquil family life in Rural France’ by Ian Moore, who as well as being a Mod is also a stand-up comedian.  In one of his chapters he humorously describes the surfeit of prescription drugs which have accumulated in a household of five and suggests that as there are so many drugs to be taken a meal times he needs to have an extra course.


But as it is the season to be ill I found myself at the doctors requiring something to stop the progress of a cough to a chest infection.  I was prescribed antibiotics, cortisone and inhalers.  Antibiotics prescribed in the UK are most commonly (depending on the severity of the illness) on a 5 day basis to be taken twice a day so at the chemist you are dispensed 10 pills. The cortisone was similarly restricted to 3 pills on three mornings hence 9 pills.  But here I was dispensed a pack of 20 for each drug.   So not only is there wastage of drugs and money when they are not used but then you have the concern of what to do with the extra drugs; throw them away, put them down the loo and into the sewage system causing all kinds of knock on effects, keep them and tempt yourself to use them the next time you feel ill, or burn them?  Perhaps we Brits should save our unused drugs and send them back to the beleaguered NHS?  There is probably some law against that.







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UK Pensions Reform

With just about a month to go until the ‘over 55s’ can flexibly access their UK defined contribution pension pots, the explosion of information already available via the internet looks to me as if this is in danger of turning into ‘information overload’.


Now of course, this is just my opinion - and please don’t misunderstand my feelings about this – because I am in total favour of people having free access to accurate information, providing that it is understandable and definitely not misleading. However, my concern comes from the volume of information that is being made available, almost in an attempt to condense the multiple choices that people will have into a sort of ‘Dummy’s Guide to Flexibility & Choice in Pensions’.


In February, “Pension Wise” was launched and this is the “free and impartial government service that helps you understand your new pension options”, that the government promised us. My first impression from the opening page of the website was favourable – a good clear design with a simple list of six steps to help us understand how to turn our pension pots into income for our retirement.


The first step seemed simple enough – “check the value of your pension pot” – nothing contentious there. It told me that I could combine multiple pension pots into one, by transferring my pension and so I clicked on that link. Whoops, now I’m out of the Pension Wise website and I’m in the Gov.UK website, which provides me with links to such things as “deferred annuity contract”, “unauthorised payment” and “fixed or enhanced protection”. Already confused? OK fine, so let me get back to Pension Wise …..


Step number 2 is all about understanding what we can do with our pension pots. Good, I thought, until I clicked through to the page and this was the first taste of ‘information overload.


There were lots of links to things that are pretty important and these took me through to “Gov.UK”,” FSCS” and the “FCA” and actually out of the Pension Wise website. There was also a link to the Money Advisory Service, so that I could compare annuities, but it didn’t like my French postcode, so that was a dead end. Being curious though, I entered my old UK postcode and proceeded through the 6-page questionnaire, including having to answer detailed lifestyle and health questions, only to find at the end that it could not retrieve my quotes!


In fact, every one of the six step pages had links that took me into other websites and for me, that’s where Pension Wise failed. In what is clearly a brave effort to try to provide comprehensive guidance (which amazingly, even includes how to calculate the UK income tax on the retirement income), I think this has the potential for disaster. There is simply too much and by the time you get through one lot of information, you have forgotten how you got there and on which part of the website you found other information that might be useful.


According to its website, “Pension Wise won’t recommend any products or tell you what to do with your money”. Hmm, I wonder what the annuity quotes would have looked like, but there again, these would have been through the Money Advisory Service and so I guess that’s how Pension Wise gets around that one!


They also say …. “We explain how to avoid pension scams and the importance of taking your time to make sure your money lasts as long as you do”. Good, I’m all for these things, but do they really mean what they say and don’t they see any risk that people might just outlive their flexibly accessed pension pot?


Even more alarming, is some of the information being produced by other companies. For example, one company writes in its literature on defined contribution pensions after April 2015: “….. You will be able to take out as much as what’s there as you want, when you want. So it’s going to feel a bit like a bank account ….” Another company writes: “…… There will no longer be an annual limit on how much you can draw and you will be able to use your pension fund like a bank account”…….


OK, maybe I’m taking these comments out of context but nevertheless, bank accounts are short-term financial products and pensions are long-term and it’s dangerous to mix the purpose of the two.


Guidance is not a substitute for professional advice and when people are faced with such a range of choices, advice is needed more now than ever.


For anyone living outside of the UK, potentially the risks of making a ‘misinformed’ choice are increased. Even if you could find a UK adviser who would be prepared to provide advice to someone who is not resident in the UK, a UK adviser is highly unlikely to have the knowledge of local tax rules in the jurisdiction where you live. In France, it is not just income tax that we have to think about, there is also wealth tax and inheritance tax, both of which might become an issue if the pension pot is cashed-in and the monies are sitting in your bank account. Therefore, it is essential to obtain advice from an appropriately qualified adviser in the country where you live.


Pensions is one of the major subjects that we are covering in our client seminars this year. We are already taking bookings for Le Tour de Finance 2015 and more information can be found on our website at This is a perfect opportunity to come along and meet industry experts on a broad range of financial matters that are of interest to expatriates. The local events are taking place at:


Perpignan – 19th May


Bize-Minervois – 20th May


Montagnac – 21st May


Le Tour de Finance is an increasingly popular event and early booking is recommended. So if you would like to attend one of these events, please contact me to reserve your places.


Whether or not you are able to come to one of our events, if you would like to have a confidential discussion about pensions, investments and/or inheritance planning, using tax-efficient solutions, please contact me either by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17

or by e-mail at


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


Forward this Flyer to friends and anyone else you know who may find it useful


Open your Garden? 


Two years ago a handful of British garden owners, all based in theCreuse, had an idea. What if they could develop an open garden scheme in France, similar to the ones in other countries?

In their inaugural season, the gardens opened for 5 hours during the last Sunday in June, and attracted over 50 visitors to raise €300 forA Chacun son Everest, a charity founded by Dr Christine Janin, the first French woman to summit Everest.A Chacun son Everestorganises activities for children dealing with cancer and leukaemia. The name of the charity evokes the uphill struggle that these children and their families face as each of them has a mountain of their own to climb.

This first attempt was encouraging. Seeing that there was no open garden scheme in France, as such, this attendance meant that there was an interest … if only they could get the word out. They put their minds to it, formed an associationand set a target of 12 participating gardens to raise €1,000 for the children’s charity.

When the big weekend arrived, the weather didn’t cooperate. The heavens opened, but so did the hearts of garden lovers. As 28 gardens took part, over 400 visitors showed up andOpen Gardens/Jardins Ouvertsended up raising an amazing €2,500, more than double their target.

Would you like to open your garden?

Plans for 2015 are well underway and Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts are continuing to expand. Over 50 gardens have already signed up in 9 departments. The opening days in 2015 are March 8, May 10, and July12, so that visitors can see a far wider variety of plants at their best. Garden owners can, of course, open at other times and these openings will also be publicised on the website. This year the event is hoping to achieve at least €5,000.

Become a local coordinator

Up to now, all gardens had been inspected personally by a member of the smallconseil. This involved a considerable amount of travelling. As the network grows, a new approach is necessary, so the search is on for local area coordinators who can recruit gardens and help publicise the scheme. Theconseiloffers support with publicity at a national level, writing reports to submit to local papers, and printing (for 2015) 10,000 trifold colour leaflets and 20,000 full colour flyers. Already, they have managed to recruit ten area coordinators, including one intrepid spirit who offered to cover the entire Dordogne department–an area the size of Yorkshire!

If you are interested in joining this joyful and generous network of keen gardeners, please send an email to or visit the

Key financial changes for expatriates in 2015

By Mary Taylor, Partner, Blevins Franks

There are a few key financial changes happening in 2015 that will affect British expatriates living in France. 

UK pension reforms

The new pension freedom is welcome news for anyone with UK pension funds. 

If you have a defined contribution scheme, from 6th April 2015 you will be able to draw down as much of your pension funds as you like, even the whole amount.  You could take a series of lump sums from your pension funds without having to enter into a drawdown policy. 

The 55% pension ‘death tax’ will be abolished, including for annuities.  Your beneficiaries will receive the balance tax free if you die under age 75, or pay income tax, or 45% if taken as a lump sum, if you are over 75 (which could change to income tax rates from 2016). This does not affect people in final salary pensions.

Many of the new pension options apply specifically to defined contribution schemes.  From April 2015 those with private sector defined benefit pensions (final salary schemes) could transfer to a defined contribution scheme, but be aware that you could lose valuable benefits. Transfers can only be made with advice from a pension transfer specialist regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.

Your pension savings are essential for providing you with financial security through retirement.  It is vital that you have all the facts about your new options, and carefully consider the implications of each option. Specialist, professional advice is the only way to ensure you have all the information and understand how each option affects you. 

You can read more about the UK pension reforms here.

New EU succession law

One of the most worrying issues facing UK nationals living in France is the outdated Napoleonic code that imposes strict restrictions on how residents can divide up their estate.  Children are “protected” heirs and may inherit up to 75% of your estate.

French law is not changing, but new European Certificate of Succession regulations will give foreigners the right to opt for the succession law of their country of nationality to apply on their death.  You need to make this election before death, otherwise, if you are habitually resident in France, French succession law applies by default.

Known as “Brussels IV”, the regulation takes effect from 17th August 2015. Note that it does not cover taxation - you cannot choose UK inheritance instead of French succession tax.

Brussels IV is welcome news for UK nationals in France.  However, many do not realise that the taxman will be the major beneficiary in many cases.  When leaving assets to siblings, nephews/nieces etc. and non-relatives (including step-children), tax rates range from 35% to 60% and allowances are very low. You must carefully consider the tax position when deciding which succession law applies. 

France tax changes

Compared to previous years, there are not many tax changes for 2015. However most of the reforms from previous years are still in effect and contributing to higher tax bills.

There has been some improvement for income tax. The 5.5% income tax band has been removed and the 0% tax rate extended.  The other tax thresholds increased a little in line with inflation. 

The removal of the 5.5% income tax band presents tax planning opportunities for investors, thanks to the difference in France between income and taxable income.  Arranging your investments to produce non-taxable income and gains can make a significant difference to your tax bill.

There are favourable tax reliefs available on shares you have owned for a number of years. You can take advantage of this and sell the shares to reinvest the capital in more tax efficient arrangements.

UK capital gains tax on property


Until now, many British expatriates have been able to sell UK property without having to pay any capital gains tax in the UK.  This is about to change. Gains on residential property arising from 6th April 2015 will be subject to UK capital gains tax, regardless of how long you have lived abroad.

When you sell a UK property, the net gain will be added to your other UK source income and taxed at 18% or 28%.  Companies pay tax at 20%, or 28% if it falls within the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings.  It is also 28% for trusts.

The annual exemption of £11,100 (from April 2015) is available to individuals.  For trustees it is £5,550. 

Non-UK resident individuals may be able to benefit from the private residence relief if they meet new qualifying conditions.  From April you can apply the relief to a property if you have resided in it for 90 midnights or more over the tax year.  This may however have other tax consequences, since spending 90 days in the UK could make you UK resident for income tax purposes.



The Blevins Franks seminars, “UK tax. French tax. Myths and truths….”, will discuss all the above topics and offer advice on how to improve your situation through strategic financial planning.  The seminars are being held in:

PERPIGNAN – 17 March         CARCASSONNE – 18 March

PAU – 14 April                     TARN – 15 April

Talk to the people who know.  Click here to book your seminar seat now, or contact Mary Taylor on  or 05 62 30 51 40                

The Blevins Franks Guide to Living in France 

340 pages examining the key tax and wealth management issues for UK nationals in France, this book is an excellent guide on how to avoid unnecessary taxation.  Free copies will be given out at our seminars, or contact Mary Taylor to get a copy.

Learn more about Blevins Franks.

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change.  Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change.  Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited(BFFM)isauthorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists.  This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.

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Tech Talk 


The Easiest way to trash your computer


There is one very easy way to really upset your computer and make it crash when in fact you were trying to do completely the opposite.



There are many software programs out there that report to clean or speed up or fix your computer, unfortunately far too many of them break far more than they fix. Many are infected with viruses, Trojans and malware and many are fake programs that will open the flood gates and allow really nasty programs to install themselves on your computer. The main problem however is that many of these program remove vital component from Windows, they delete registry entries and remove things that windows needs to run.



Windows is a very complex system it contains many thousands of files, hundreds of thousands of registry settings and is VERY! easily upset. If one registry entry is missing that the windows system expects to find then the whole system crashes with a blue screen or it runs so slowly it’s impossible to use. After these items have been removed it’s virtually impossible to repair, in most cases Windows needs to completely reinstalled.


These bad programs go under many names, PC Cleaner pro, Cleanup Pro, PC fixit, PC cleaner, Reg clean Pro, Reg Cure, Web Cure, PC analyser, Driver Wiz, Driver Cleaner, Tuneup, PC TuneUp,  in fact far too many to name here. Many of them come as free additions to other program or offer free versions to tempt you into their clutches.


Many people run these program in the hope it will fix and speed up the computer, however you are probably doing more damage than good, it might not crash today but by removing things from the system you are taking a huge chance that the item will not be needed in the future.


There are very few that I trust to truly clean and repair your computer, the two I recommend are Ccleaner and Glary Utilities.  Both of these program are safe to use and wont remove anything important from the computer, they both offer free versions that will fix most errors and paid for versions that automate the process to a schedule say once a week.



I am not suggesting that you don’t remove unwanted software or things you have download or created these sorts of things are safely removed, but what you don’t want to remove are any Windows system items. If you want to remove a program then go to the control panel, programs and features (or uninstall a program) and click on the program name and click Remove or uninstall.


If you want to remove temporary files and clean up the computer then use Ccleaner.


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



 f  ithead3010







Here's some good news for you.....



......... We've all been told that in order to lose weight, we need to balance the amount of calories that we eat with the amount that we expend (not rocket science but sometimes hard to achieve) - the 'expending' bit has traditionally meant that we need to exercise in order to burn the calories. The problem with this is twofold: a) a lot of people HATE exercise and b) the amount you actually have to do to burn off any significant amount of calories is phenomenal - for example, jogging for half an hour might burn about 300 calories if you're lucky.



That's a lot of jogging (even if you CAN jog) to lose 1lb of fat a week (3.500 calories).



Consider this: how many gyms were around 50 years ago? How many people were obese 50 years ago? The answer to both is 'not very many'!

Gyms and 'exercise' (unless we're talking about athletes) are a relatively new and ARTIFICIAL means of the general public trying to shift calories - people used to MOVE for large parts of the day - and eat less calorie-dense food but that's for another day!


James Levine, a physiologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic (in the US but Levine is British!) has been researching the mechanisms of obesity for nearly 20 years. He has coined the phrase Non-Exercise-Activity-Thermogenesis (NEAT) to describe the way in which we can address the issue of burning calories. NEAT really just means the calories we burn by doing things OTHER than 'planned exercise' - walking, carrying things and even fidgeting for example!



Levine says that NEAT can be responsible for up to 50% of total calories expended in a day (the other 50% is mainly spent on the general 'tick-over of your body). That could mean the difference of up to 2,000 calories (yes, there are 3 noughts!) per day between people of similar sizes if one is sedentary and the other is moving on a regular basis. contrast that with a 30 minute walk burning around 200 calories on average.

The impact of NEAT on daily calorie expenditure is greater than that of planned exercise.


As a starting point, estimate how many hours a day you spend sitting (work your way though your day in your mind, computer / television, time in the car, eating etc. ) - it's frightening. Over the past 50 years, environmental cues have been so overwhelming that humans that were previously active have been seduced to sit!

Work out ways to make your body burn more fuel- standing burns DOUBLE the amount of calories than sitting for example so why not stand up for 10 minutes while watching television? Stand when having a telephone conversation. NEVER use the travelling walkways in airports (I know there are exceptions to this but for the majority of us they are simply another means to rob our bodies of a moving opportunity) - same for elevators, escalators etc.

Get out of the habit (for that's what it is) of sitting for more than half an hour without getting up to move. Get creative with your moving! Even turn your heating down a bit!


This ISN'T a quick fix, however, for those who hate exercise but equally aren't happy with their weight, NEAT provides an alternative which has the added benefits of being better for your overall health - humans are deigned to function optimally by moving. It's interesting that even those who regularly spend an hour or two in the gym are putting their health at risk by spending the rest of the day sitting!







LATEST  NEWS – a miscellany


1.  VOTES ! At the last minute the debate on the second reading of Mr. Clifton Brown’s 10 minute rule Bill which would remove the 15 year limit on voting was put back to the 27th March.


PARLIAMENT may not sit on that date and in effect have packed up and gone home for the election.  


How on earth can the Conservatives expect expatriates to vote for them if they treat us in such a cavalier fashion?


How can the Conservatives expect any Pensioner in France, Spain and various other parts of Europe to vote for them?


How can they expect any pensioner in Australia, or Canada, where the pension is frozen, to vote for them?


Are they not shooting themselves in the feet.



2. Representation and the Parties -- You will have read the circular I distributed on this.  Were you not, as I was, appalled, at the lack of interest by all the parties in how we live.. our interests .. to know if we have any concerns & problems we need to raise..?


The Conservatives promise to remove the 15 year ban, but then throw a wet flannel in our faces over the WFP (see below) and in not supporting their own stalwart MPs who speak up for the expatriates (G. Clifton-Brown, Sir Roger Gale, Lord Lexden amongst them)


The Labour Party produced a feeble message after being prodded four times. Yet the International Labour groups and of course the indefatigable Harry Shindler urge as strongly as they can to get the Party leaders to recognise and consider us. They also are sidelined.


The Liberal Democrats produced nothing in spite of the fact that their International Branches also urged them to consider establishing MPs for the expatriates.  Still Nick Clegg has not renounced his statement uttered by a colleague on the 15th Oct, 2015 –



Nick appreciates that there are some British expatriates who have lived abroad for over 15 years and who want to vote in British elections. However, as you may know, Nick supports the existing legislation on this issue, including the removal of the right to vote after 15 years of living abroad. If a Briton has settled in another country, it is intuitive that they would know about and be directly affected by the issues of that country. If they want to become politically active, then they should register to vote in the country they have settled in……


The Greens have said damn-all.  UKIP seems blind to the chaos that might well result for the expats in Europe if they ever have power.  If they gave an iota of thought to this concern they may well attract more support.  But they don’t! They just say our fears are ‘ridiculous’! Does that encourage support?


Frankly one despairs at the whole prospect before us of those who supposedly represent the people. They do not!  


There are worthy politicians – I name a few above.  But most after election become ciphers of their Parties and we who may have a vote are simply considered as ‘voter fodder’ to elect them.


As Gilbert (of G & Sullivan) wrote


When in that House M. P.'s divide,


If they've a brain and cerebellum, too.


They've got to leave that brain outside,


And vote just as their leaders tell 'em to.



The whole panoply of Government is fossilised.  The Houses of Parliament are more suited to be a museum. To call those in the second chamber ‘lords’ and baronesses’  is absurd and retrospective.  It hammers in the view that they rule and the citizen ruled. They are, are they not, the ‘ruling classes’.



I remain ‘on the fence’ in politics and will not lean this way or that in the political windstorm.  


But of this I am sure - We must have the VOTE and then purposefully use that influence to help change the medievally inclined Government of Britain.


3The Winter Fuel Payment.


This affair is in one aspect very serious indeed.  The money per head is in fact small, but I know of a few pensioners in France who are most glad to receive this small sum, - the seriousness is the dishonesty; the lack of respect; the lack of understanding; almost the spite and hostility displayed by Iain Duncan Smith and his civil service team at the DWP towards the pensioner who only seeks an interesting and quiet life style in France, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus and Greece.  The ignorance displayed by this team about Geography and Climatology is truly astounding. And added to that there is the wilful discrimination towards a group of British Citizens which is totally deplorable coming from a senior Conservative politician.  And then we have the plea from them to register to vote – perhaps is it no doubt for their advantage.


A petition has been placed before the EU on this issue.  It could take many months to get even ‘admitted’. If it does then we can all add our support to the petition.  What is so galling is that this discriminatory ‘law’ is likely to be implemented before any wheels of justice grind into motion.  The Conservatives could simply annul the discriminatory Statutory Instrument now and the next Government consider the whole matter.  Why on earth is that not done?  


And also in the EU Parliament Franck Proust, a French MEP – no less - has questioned the issue.


This link is informative


4. USE of the NHS in Britain.


Turning from all that dispiriting material the next is more encouraging.  It concerns the ability by expat pensioners to use the NHS in Britain.  I have the following from another correspondent involved with New Europeans.More on this when I receive it.


The changes basically enable our pensioner ex-pats living in Europe to come back to the UK and use the NHS as if they were still living here. This is relevant to those in receipt of a UK state pension, living in another EU country who have their healthcare paid for by the UK by means of an S1 registered with the health system of the country they are living in.


With this law change, the Government will be extending the right to return for all NHS treatment, including planned/elective, to this group of citizens. As I say, this change will become effective from 6 April 2015 and effectively means that ex-pat UK state pensioners living in the EEA have the same rights to NHS services as people resident in the UK, without the need to obtain any kind of authorisation from their country of residence.




Brian Cave
le Fourquet, Gourdon, 46300, France


Tel-    ++33(0)565 41 42 69
web site:-  


-Votes for Britons  -  






meteo ciel3

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









At the time of writing we are experiencing that squally weather that my neighbour refers to as 'les giboulées de mars' but in between the showers there is loads to be getting on with in the garden.  If you haven't already started to do so it is time to start to cut back sub-shrubby prennials such as gauras, perovskias, Salvia microphylla cultivars etc.  Warm season grasses such as Miscanthus and Pennisetum can also be cut hard back, as can summer flowering clematis like the viticella cultivars.  In general, this is also the time to be pruning roses.  If possible, shred the prunings and add them to your compost heap or use them as organic mulch. 

Many flowers are waiting for some slightly warmer weather to arrive but Globularia alypum is a lovely little native, garrigue shrub that is in flower at the moment - it does well in mixed plantings of other Mediterranean native plants in full sun and with good drainage.


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. Regular opening hours at the garden and nursery started on the on the 27th February and we are now open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 6pm until the end of November. Do remember that you are free to visit the garden without any obligation to buy but to observe, take notes etc.  We are also always open by appointment, just phone or email to fix a time.

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


Hi everyone,

The return of the ever popular British Beer Festival is just around the corner with of course prize winning real ale's, old favourites and traditional cider on offer. 

It all kicks-off on Thursday 19th March (from around 1600hrs) with the best chance of trying to complete and extensive range of ales on offer (list below). Friday 20th session starts around 1600hrs and finishes late. Saturday 21st (from 1200hrs) is the final day of the six-nations rugby fixtures with Italy v Wales, followed by Scotland v Ireland and finally England v France. 

With live music and the Rajpoot behind Carpe Diem open it should be a great weekend.

See you there,




RCH Pitchfork

RCH Old Slug

RCH Boadicea

RCH Steam Springs

Dark Star: Hophead

Anarchy: Sublime Chaos

Quartz: Chrystal

Bristol Beer Company: Sunrise

Dukeries:  I.P.A

Great Oakley: Harpers

Oxfordshire Ales: Marshmellow

Keystone: Cheer Up It’s Nearly Summer

Tring: Redshank

Green Jack: Orange Wheat

Whitstable: Kentish Retreat

Cheddar Valley Cider

Lily the Pink Cider.



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 Mars 2015

Coursan Vide grenier

Cuxac-d'Aude Vide greniers

SaverdunVide greniers +brocante

Dimanche 8 Mars 2015

BarbairaVide dressingBourses aux vêtements

CarcassonneVide grenier brocante

CoursanVide grenier à Coursan

Cuxac-d'Aude  Videgreniers

Fabrezan Vide grenier La Boule FABREZANNAISE

Leucate  Vide grenier

Moussoulens  Vide grenier

Pexiora  Bourse à la puériculture et aux vêtements

Plavilla  Vide greniers et brocante

Saint-Nazaire-d'Aude  Vide dressing

Salles-d'Aude Vide-greniers/brocante/puces

Pamiers  Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Samedi 14 Mars 2015

Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Cuxac-d'Aude  Vide greniers

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante

Tourtrol Vide dressing


Dimanche 15 Mars 2015

Arzens Vide-Dressing de la Chorale la Malepère

Bize-Minervois Méga Vide Grenier Fitiavana Madagascar

Carcassonne  Vide grenierbrocante

Caunes-Minervois  Vide grenier

Couiza Vide dressing - bourse aux jouets

Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Cuxac-d'Aude  Vide greniers

Ginestas Le petit marché aux vêtements d'occasions

Lézignan-Corbières  La foire à l’inutile

Montréal 4ème Vide Grenier Des Ecoles de Montréal

Montredon-des-Corbières  Bourse de vêtements de la Maison des jeunes

Moussoulens  Videgrenier

Narbonne Vide grenier narbonne

Saint-Laurent-de-la-Cabrerisse  Vide dressing des Teenagers

Pamiers   Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-Girons  Les puces du champ de mars

Saverdun   Bourse de PrintempsBourses de puériculture

Tourtrol   Vide dressin



 What's On




NINA HAGEN 24 March Bikini Toulouse

WOODSTOCK GENERATION 27 March Bikini Toulouse

WWE LIVE 16 April Zenith Toulouse

RIVAL SONS 22 April Bikini Toulouse

DIRTY DANCING 1/3 May Zenith Toulouse

THE RED ARMY CHOIR 3 Nov Zenith Toulouse

LA TRAVIATA 28 Nov Zenith Toulouse

SCORPIONS 4 Dec Zenith Toulouse









The following prices are for one insertion in the Flyer email news letter unless otherwise stated




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




Property for sale - land, houses, businesses

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


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

Standard Display Advert - Corporate


Finished artwork to be 378 pixels by 200 pixels landscape

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)

25 €

Finished artwork to be 378 pixels by 200 pixels landscape

What's on feature advert

35 €

Finished artwork to be 378 pixels by 515 pixels portrait

information about advertising rates and specifications.
informations sur les tarifs publicitaires et specifications.
Send details to of your advert to Steve Hedges.
Please note all text (unless in a finished advert) should be Plain Text,

Finished adverts should be submitted in jpeg format 378 pixels wide

Email your text, pictures and contact information to