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Well its elections everywhere. Do you think Goodluck Jonathan will change his name now? Maybe Goodluck Hollande would have done better if he had adopted the monicker.



Yes, OK I was wrong and it wasn’t a ploy having Ed Milliband suffer the opposition position and then bring in the brother late as a fresh face and win the day. A mistake I say.


So the Kingfisher takeover of Mr Bricolage has been scuppered because certain Mr Brico shareholders weren’t happy with the closure of 44 stores to comply with monopolies restrictions.


Good to see the Pole Emploi are keeping up their good work, they overpaid a man 3000€ + and then they started hitting him for around 200€ a week to claw it back, he went legal and they then sent him a letter he could pay it back at 1 cent a month, for the next 26,126 years…….


Back to Mr Hollande who really believes the French economy is waking up again, with the French government taking such controls as fines for the agents representing skinny models and for those magazines that print their photos. Also a ban likely on unlimited soft drinks in fast food restaurants - anything is possible.





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Lost in France

I know Steve wrote last time that it was Toques and Clochers in Limoux, but for some reason I didn’t think it would affect me.  But then I forgot about it and tried to do some errands in Limoux on Friday night.  It took a while for things to sink in and by then it was too late. 


First of all I wondered why there were so many police out near the Leclerc Roundabout, vans, dogs, the works.  I just thought maybe Limoux on a Friday night was getting like country towns in England where kids go out binge drinking and end up very, very messy.  And why were there so many motorhomes parking up?   I carried on.  I needed to deliver something to my doctor and usually parked in the Gamm Vert carpark.  That wasn’t on as I didn’t have a ticket but the nice man at the gate showed me where I could park briefly. 


The doctor’s was closed.  Of course it was!  No sign on the door, people outside phoning and cross, no joy.  Was this closure because of the wine festival, probably, even though they do have reserved parking?


I had to go to the other side of Limoux and I contemplated giving up but because this would be one of the more interesting things I would be doing that evening I continued on.  Ah, yet more traffic and parking problems. 


I stupidly hadn’t realised the event I was going to was part of Toques too, I thought it was a one-off.  Well it was a one-off but not unrelated.  All parking places closed unless you had a ticket.  Large vehicles with men putting bunting round lamp-posts, trucks delivering material, school children excitedly preparing for the event at their school. 


Slightly more relieved than disappointed, I drove back home.  I really should pay attention.






 lenetwork  Local press ad

 Carolyn Knight new ad

gaf ad5 



 peterlawton clk


On 26th February 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made a very important ruling concerning the application of French social charges (prélèvement sociaux). These charges are levied to fund certain social security benefits in France, as well as the compulsory sickness insurance schemes.


If you are resident in France, you are required to pay the social charges on all your worldwide investment income and gains and the current rate is 15.5%. However, the payment of these social charges does not actually give you any automatic right to French social security benefits and health cover.


In fact, many early retirees have been refused health cover when their Certificate S1, issued by the UK, has expired, if they have not been resident in France for at least five years. Since having adequate health cover is a condition of French residency, such people have either had to work in France – perhaps even setting up their own business – or they have been obliged to take out private health cover.


It is clear that France considers social charges on investment income and gains as an additional tax, rather than a social security contribution, since the payment does not provide any automatic rights to social security benefits and health cover. However, it is the French Code de Sécurité Sociale, rather than the Code Générale des Impôts, which lays down the conditions under which these social charges are payable in France.


Thankfully, the ECJ has reached a different conclusion. In its determination, the ECJ decided that France’s social charges have a sufficient link with the financing of the country’s social security system and benefits. In addition, there should be no distinction made between those charges payable on earnings and those payable on investment income and gains.


EU Regulation 1408/71 deals with the application of social security schemes to people moving within the European Union. The Regulation provides that people should be subject to the social security legislation of only one Member State (except for very limited situations). To have anything different could lead to unequal treatment between Members States and their citizens, which would be contrary to EU principles.


Therefore, for any French resident who is the holder of a Certificate S1 that has been issued by another Member State, this means that he/she is subject to the social security legislation of the issuing State. As such, the ECJ has ruled that France cannot impose an obligation on the person to pay social charges to France, as this would result in them being subject to the social security legislation of more than one Member State. The ECJ has also ruled that this principle applies whether or not the insured person actually pays social security contributions on the income/gains concerned in the Member State that insures the person.


Since 2012, non-residents have also had to pay the social charges on any French property rental income and on any gains arising when they have sold the French property. There is general opinion now that the ECJ ruling should also bring this to an end, at least for residents who are insured in another EU State.


EU legislation overrides the internal legislation of Member States. Notwithstanding this, we will still need to wait for the French government’s response to this ECJ ruling. Arising out of this, if France accepts the ruling, it will need to amend its own internal codes to ensure compliance with the ruling.


In the meantime, taxpayers can make an application for a refund of social charges paid in 2013 and 2014, by filing a claim with their local tax office before 31st December 2015. In addition, taxpayers may also wish to refer to the ECJ ruling when submitting their French tax returns for this year, if they believe that they are affected.


On the subject of French tax returns, these are due by 19th May 2015, if submitting a paper return or if submitting on-line by 26th May 2015 for departments 01 to 19, by 2nd June 2015 for departments 20 to 49 and by 9th June 2015 for other departments. According to the ECB website, the average exchange rate of Sterling to Euros for 2014 is 0.80612.


For those of you who came to live in France during 2014, then you will need to make your first French tax declaration and declare all your worldwide income and gains. This includes income and gains that might be tax-free in another country, for example, UK ISAs, premium bond winnings and Pension Commencement Lump Sums, which are all taxable in France.


Even if the income is taxable in another country, for example a UK government pension and/or UK property rental income, the amount must still be reported in France and it will be taken into account in calculating your French income tax. You will then be given a tax reduction to take into account the fact that the income is taxable elsewhere.


It is also very important to declare the existence of all foreign bank accounts (whatever the amount in the account) and life assurance policies taken out with companies outside of France. Failure to do so can result in a penalty of €1,500 for each undisclosed bank account. However, if the total value of all unreported accounts is €50,000 or more, then the penalty is increased to 5% of the total value of the accounts, if this results in a greater amount. The same penalties also apply for undeclared foreign life assurance contracts.


Pensions – I cannot pass by without saying something on this. I have personally become so fed up with all of the UK changes that I have now taken the decision to transfer all of my own UK pension benefits into a QROPS. I have chosen the well-regulated jurisdiction of Malta and I feel that I am in control of my own retirement planning again. In short, I feel that I will now have a pension for life and not just for Christmas or for the next session of the UK parliament.


With days to go before the reform takes place in the UK, if you are affected, do you understand what this means for you? If not, would you like to have a confidential discussion with me about your situation?


Pensions is one of the major subjects that we are also covering at our client seminars this year, as well as EU Succession Regulations, French taxation, health insurance and currency exchange. We are already taking bookings for Le Tour de Finance 2015 and 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








 Aude Flyer 378pxl copiegayda
















Email:;  Website:

Forum:      Local Association No : W112000594

Tech Talk


How to select multiple languages for Google voice search on your phone.


Google has pushed voice search and actions to the forefront over the last few years, introducing features like the Google Now Launcher and the “OK Google” command.


However, when you do a voice search, Google only listens for your one default language. If you speak multiple languages, you can change that in a few taps.

Head into the main Google app settings (open the Google app, or swipe over to the Google Now cards, then select Settings in the flyout menu on the left). From there, open the Voice section. The menu item you’re looking for is predictably called Languages. This will open up a new selection menu with dozens of languages, each one with a checkbox. You can select up to five of them for your phone to recognize on the fly, but make sure you long-press to pick a default language as well.

Just pick the languages you speak.

Selecting secondary languages allows you to switch back and forth with a limit of one language per search. Basically, Google detects the language you’re speaking for each search, then plugs in the right translation engine. If you have voice output enabled, the device will also speak in the detected language.

You won’t be able to mix and match words from multiple languages in the same query, but this is still much more convenient than going into the settings each time you want to use another tongue.
















What is a Smartwatch.

A smartwatch (or smart watch) is a computerized wristwatch with functionality that is enhanced beyond timekeeping. Many smartwatches run mobile apps, while a smaller number of models run a mobile operating system and function as portable media players. Some smartwatches models, also called watch phones, feature full mobile phone capability, and can make or answer phone calls.

Such devices may include features such as a camera, accelerometer, thermometer, altimeter, barometer, compass, chronograph, calculator, cell phone, touch screen, GPS navigation, Map display, graphical display, speaker, scheduler, watch, heart rate sensor, blood pressure sensor and rechargeable battery. It links to your mobile phone, tablet or computer via short range Bluetooth wireless communications.

There are many different types from many different manufactures and many more on the way. The most useful feature is fitness or activity tracking, but navigation while walking is good too. The main reason for having a smartwatch is a second screen for your mobile phone, the phone stays in your pocket/bag where it’s safe and not obvious (thieves, dropping, rain, etc) and information you need is displayed on your wrist. Incoming calls you see who’s calling, sms (text) message, facebook and twitter messages, and many other things if you turn them on. You also have the ability to download different watch faces, so if you like a digital face in the morning and analogue in the afternoon, or you want a more stylish face for going out you just change it.

So are they a gimmick or are they really useful, for someone like myself who is out and about most of the time, spends time with clients and does not want to spend much time looking directly at the phone my smartwatch works very well. If I was at home and near a computer or able to look at the phone more regularly then it might not be quite so useful but would still be good fun.

Technology should always be fun!

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.


meteo ciel3

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Expat Citizen Resident in Narbonne stands for UK Parliament.

An expatriate living in France - and without the right to vote in the UK - plans to stand as a parliamentary candidate in the upcoming General Election.


James Jackson will put himself in the running to become MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip – a seat also being contested by London mayor Boris Johnson.


His campaign in the run-up to May 7 will be focused on giving British citizens living abroad the right to vote in their country of origin.


Mr Jackson, who left the UK in 1996 to work in the Falkland Islands before retiring to live in France, said: “Due to the law preventing Britons who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting in elections, I, along with thousands of others, am disenfranchised.


“Strangely, there is nothing in law that prevents me standing as a parliamentary candidate.

“This Kafkaesque situation means that, theoretically, I could win a parliamentary seat and take my place in the House of Commons, despite living abroad and not having a vote.”



 For the original Newspaper article  go to link....



You are in 3NT and they lead the six of spades. What is your plan?

A 8 7 2
Q J 5
K 10 9 5

Your hand
9 5 3 2
K 3
A K 3
Q J 4 3


You must avoid four spade losers and the Ace of clubs. If the defence had held K J 10 x x on lead, they would probably have led the Jack. You can therefore assume that your right-hand-opponent has a spade honour. If it is the King and you finesse, the suit can be cleared. If you rise with the Ace of spades at trick one, whatever doubleton honour your right-hand-opponent holds, the suit is blocked.













Ariege author Matthew Hilton`s latest ebook, Heavy Waters, has as its centerpiece the fall of France in 1940. I thought that living in France would be more interesting if I understood something of its history But then the book spread out to the putting agents ashore behind the Iron Curtain and the mystery of the disappearance of British frogman Commander Crabb. I wanted to get into that post-war atmosphere, with the shadow of the bomb, which growing up in the 1950`s kind of seeped into me without knowing it Heavy Waters is described as a fiction with embedded archive material and is available at Book Country, a subsidiary of Penguin Books.




At the time of writing these notes everyone is complaining about the weather, chilly and damp.  But ...  it does mean that there is plenty of moisture in the soil so now is an excellent time to be dividing perennials, transplanting anything that you wish to move and planting new plants.   Try and improve the soil where you plant, many local soils are a limy clay that can be improved by the addition of some organic material or compost and some clean sand (sable de la riviére) and/or gravel for better soil structure and drainage (never use builder’s sand).  Plants planted this spring will need watering during the first summer while they become established, even if they are drought resistant varieties, however the earlier you can plant the more the root systems will be able to establish before coping with summer drought.

There are lots of bulbs in flower at the moment.  It is worth noting that the bulbs which do best for many of us are those which have their origins in Mediterranean or similar climates.  Anemone blanda and Anemone coronaria are both lovely and will reseed themselves in the garden.  There are many, many narcissi in cultivation, among the best for us are hybrids of the southern European native Narcissus tazetta.  Botanical or species tulips usually survive better from year to year than hybrid forms.  If you want your bulbs to seed themselves around then leave the seedheads on after flowering, otherwise it is better to dead head them after flowering.  It is useful to observe what bulbs do well in your area and to consider if your garden would benefit from more spring bulbs and make a note of all this ready for a possible bulb order in late summer/early autumn.

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


A local friend has started this petition,

I just signed the petition "Le Préfet de l'Ariège: Refus des éoliennes industrielles de Troye d'Ariège" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:





Hi Steve

The info regarding the EHIC is incorrect.

The old cards are still valid until their expiry date and the telephone number  given is the DWP whilst the EHIC is run by the Dept. of Health





I was staggered to read the hoops Karen McDermot had to go through to get her car registered over here. Having imported a couple of post 1996 vehicles now we have never had to go through all that.

With V5, Certificate of Conformity, recent Controle Technique, usual proof of identity/residence, popped into the Prefecture with that lot plus a completed form and a few minutes later were standing at the caisse while somebody relieves our carte bancaire of a few more euros.

Admittedly we haven't had to change the headlights, a flick of a lever gets them to dip continental style, got a Certificate of Conformity free of charge from BMW UK and a quittus fiscale hasn't been needed because the V5 is in my name, something a guy at the Tax Office in Limoux tipped us off about a decade ago.

Even importing one that didn't have a CoC as it is a 1993 was the same, except we had to go to the Drire/Dreal to get them to put their thumbprint on a piece of paper which effectively said that it the same as the version imported to France except that the steering wheel was on the opposite side.

Now a caravan is a different kettle of fish, try convincing them at the Prefecture that caravans in the UK don't have V5s!







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 4 Avril

Conques-sur-Orbiel  Vide-greniers de l'association Terres d'Orbiel

CoursanVide grenier à Coursan

Cuxac-d'Aude Vide greniers, brocante

Cuxac-d'AudeVide maison

Montolieu22ème salon du livre ancien et d'occasion

Port Leucate  Vide greniers

SaverdunVide greniers +brocante

Varilhes  Bourseaux vélos, livres et médias

Dimanche 5 Avril

BramVide Grenierannuel des Majos

Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante

Conques-sur-OrbielVide-greniers de l'association Terres d'Orbiel

CoursanVide grenier

Cuxac-d'AudeVide greniers, brocante

LeucateVide grenier

LimouxLa mensuelle le 1er dimanche de chaque mois

Montolieu22ème salon du livre ancien et d'occasion

MoussoulensVvide grenier

NarbonneVide grenier et produits terroir et vetements

Rieux-Minervois Vide grenier du Haut Minervois Olympique

Mazères  Vide grenier mensuel


PamiersMarché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-Liziermarché aux Puces, de la cave au grenier

Lundi 6 Avril

TrèbesVide-grenier de paques

DalouVide grenier de printemps

Vendredi 10 Avril

CarcassonneTroc de vêtements femme


Samedi 11 Avril

CoursanVide grenier à Coursan

Cuxac-d'AudeVide greniers, brocante

Port-la-NouvellePlaymobil a la mer

SaverdunVide greniers +brocante

Dimanche 12 Avril

Bize-MinervoisVide grenier de printemps

BramVide grenier des Familles Rurales

CarcassonneVide grenier brocante 

CarcassonneVide-grenier organisé par le Davilla Pétanque

CoursanVide grenier à Coursan

Cuxac-d'AudeVide greniers, brocante

FabrezanVide grenier festival de musique charles cros

Fontiès-d'AudeBourse aux jouets , vêtements et matériels de puériculture

La RedorteVide-Greniers-organisé par l'association (les 4 saisons )

Lavalettevide grenier

Mirepeissetvide-greniers du Tennis club la Garenne

MontréalVide greniers Marché artisanal

MontséretVide-grenierde la nouvelle association Le TruK en+

Moussoulensvide grenier

NarbonneVide Greniers Place Voltaire Place des Pyrénées

ParazaBourse aux vetements

Pomas Vide dressing

Port-la-NouvellePlaymobil a la mer

Rieux-MinervoisBourse de l'arme ancienne et antiquites militaires

Saint-Papoul Vide greniers salle des fêtes de Saint-papoul

Villeneuve-MinervoisVide Grenier

CadarcetVide Grenier au profit de l'association humanitaire AUDACE

Engomerfoire aux jouets

FoixVide Grenier AMBCL

Les PujolsVide greniers

MazèresGrand Vide-grenier

MazèresVide Grenier Association Rêves

PamiersMarché et puces et à la brocantes

 french pigeions


 What's On


 i have searched and there is not much going on, as you can see. i thought i would put a pic in of someone you wont have seen live for a long time, if ionly she needed cash and made a flourishing comeback a la Mr Cohen



WWE LIVE 16 April Zenith Toulouse

RIVAL SONS 22 April Bikini Toulouse

DIRTY DANCING 1/3 May Zenith Toulouse

PHARRELL WILLIAMS 24 June Nimes Festival

BEN HARPER 4 July Nimes Festival

LENNY KRAVITZ 9 July Nimes Festival

PLACEBO 10 July Argeles

LENNY KRAVITZ 11 July Argeles

CAT EMPIRE 12 July Argeles

TOTO & CHRISTOPHER CROSS 15 July Nimes Festival

SANTANA 16 July Nimes Festival

SANTANA 17 July Argeles

LIONEL RICHIE 17 July Nimes Festival

STING 20 July Nimes Festival

JOAN BAEZ 22 July Nimes Festival

THE RED ARMY CHOIR 3 Nov Zenith Toulouse

UFO 10 Nov Le Metronum

THE STRANGLERS 10 Nov Bikini Toulouse

NIGHTWISH 26 Nov Zenith Toulouse

LA TRAVIATA 28 Nov Zenith Toulouse

SCORPIONS 4 Dec Zenith Toulouse

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL 22/26 Nov 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