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The air traffic controllers strike ended but may return to annoy everyone between April 29th and May 2, beware and be warned.

Didn’t Francois Hollande get elected on an anti-austerity ticket? And now he is making cuts to comply with EU limits?   Well at least he has said he won’t stand for re-election in 2017 if he doesn’t succeed in bringing unemployment down.  Good to see he has allowed Nokia to consume Alcatel Lucent - a case of nothing in the government coffers to prop it up any longer maybe?


Meanwhile British politicians are embroiled in Putin-esque fuzzy logic, i.e. they say almost the opposite of the truth.  It’s largely to do with who will allow who to play with their ball when the dust has settled and the votes counted.  I heard Paddy Ashdown interviewed recently and he was being pushed as to whether the Lib Dems would prefer to side with the Reds or the Blues.   His response was “your question is like asking me if I would prefer to be knocked down by a car or a bus”.  

Lucky for him he’s out of the fray so he can give a straight answer.


On matters Putin, he has asked France for his deposit and costs back for the two ships that are not being delivered due to someone invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea.   At his annual Q&A he said that he had only ordered them to support Russia’s partners and give work to French shipyards, and that they were only for use in in the Far East. I suppose if you are rich you can afford to be that philanthropic.  I heard recently that people in Russia have been encouraged to believe that the food shortages they are enduring currently are because they have stopped being supplied by Ukraine.


It’s funny how different people see things differently e.g. Sepp Blatter has been likened to Jesus, Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill.  And to cap it all 10 CONCACAF members have given their backing to the current incumbent for the FIFA presidency elections in May.  The declarations were made at the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) Congress.  What planet are these people on?  It seems to me that football as well as being a source of enjoyment for many can often be the source of problems and therein is a dilemma.  People, who can sometimes ill afford it, spend money on Sky Sports packages (which are very expensive due to the cost of football rights).  And then we have the double standards of UKIP promoting racism and anti-immigration while the majority of Premier league players and managers are foreigners? 


And on that note, are you ready to celebrate St George’s day on April 23rd? Why not invite friends around and dress up, make a ball of it, celebrate in Raj style?





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Lost in France

Living in a small village in France and supposing that I know what happened to France during the second world war I’d wanted for some time to view the TV series ‘Le Village Francais’ originally broadcast in 2009. 


It is the story of a village during the German occupation with the first season starting in 1940 and as far as I can see it is still on-going with each series depicting a new year.   I’ve only seen three episodes of 1940 (the first series) but that was enough to surprise me.  A bridge is blockaded by French soldiers who refused a doctor and his female patient passage to hospital.  The doctor has to bribe the soldier to take the woman but the soldier won’t allow him access so he can’t go with her.  Just this scene was shocking.  For those of you with French television have perhaps already been drawn into this controversial drama but for those of you who haven’t seen it I recommend you do as just these first three episodes were enough to keep me glued.


‘Le Village Francais’ really gets to the heart of what collaboration meant in a small community and it tries honestly to portray the conflict, moral and otherwise, of survival during the occupation and the sad inevitability of compromise without resorting to the usual stereotypes of heroes and villains. 


My neighbour told me of her shame that her father worked the black market during the war so the reverberations continue to this day.  She described it to me as a time where good people continued to do good but those with the slightest tendency towards wrong-doing found that trait exploded and was allowed to run rife under the occupation.   






 lenetwork  Local press ad

 Carolyn Knight new ad

gaf ad5 



 peterlawton clk


My monthly articles appear principally in the Flyer and on the Spectrum website, although I have seen them crop up in all sorts on unlikely places on the internet.  Thankfully, they create a steady stream of calls or emails from readers who have many and varied financial issues to address.  Quite often these issues can be well beyond my capabilities as a financial adviser, but I will always try to help as much as I can.  I do hope for example that my assertion that French motorway petrol stations open on Christmas day was correct; and I would love to know whether the gentleman planning to start selling ice cream from a van outside the Cité gates in Carcassonne succeeded in his venture. I also felt truly sorry that I was unable to lend one gentleman €30,000 to buy a plot of land to enable him to fish from the river Aude.



Closer to home ground, it is very important that I distinguish between the roles of financial adviser and tax accountant.  My brief as a personal finance adviser to UK expats is the ensure that personal savings; investments and pensions are handled in the most sensible and tax efficient manner.  That takes me into me realms of tax, but only on an informative basis.  I cannot make recommendations as to tax strategies, or indeed predict and guarantee specific tax outcomes.  For this reason a number of the enquiries I receive are redirected to professionally registered specialists in these fields.



In an ideal world my inbox would be full of enquiries from expats, new and old, as to how they can maximise the tax efficiency of their savings and investments, or improve the return on their pension fund investments, but I do realise that there are many other issues that expats look for help on.  That will typically include Wills; health care; residency queries; foreign exchange, as well as all the aforementioned tax issues.



This is why we team up with other professionals and involve ourselves in events such as Le Tour de Finance.  Come along to an LTDF seminar and you will see that as well as our own financial specialities, we also cater for the wider needs of the expat community.  As well as  meeting some of the product providers that we use to solve your investment needs, we will introduce you to F/X specialists; UK/France tax experts and domestic accountants.  Daphne and I will be hosting two of these seminars in May, so if you’d like to come along to either Chateau Cabazac near Bize Minervois on the 20th or Coté Mas near Montagnac on the 21st May, just drop me a line or call on the numbers at the end on this piece. I’m fairly sure that you will enjoy the experience.



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

By phone on 0468 247758 or mobile 0631 787647


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


Siret number:  491 228 573 00029

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter at

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









 ETE 2015 A4 AUDE

















meteo ciel3

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You are in 3NT and they lead the King of spades. Over to you.




8 5 4

A K 4 3

K J 4



Your hand


A J 2

5 2

Q 10 9 8 7

A 5 4




Well, this looks easy - don't we just win and set up the diamond suit? Ah, but if you win the lead and the Ace of diamonds is on your right, a spade return may see you losing four spade tricks if they break 5/2. The answer is to duck the lead. If the defence continue spades, you have a second trick in the suit to stop them cashing spades when in with the Ace of diamonds. If they switch to another suit instead of continuing spades, you are in no danger.


Lizzie Godfrey











Responses to the manifestos

The TELEGRAPH. - A useful survey with thoughts of the expat circumstances.

The CONNEXION.  A very thorough and valuable insight for all expats in France.

This paper has made considerable efforts to contact all the parties, and gives opinions following interviews. It is well worth reading. It also gives links to the manifestos.


Below is a very condensed analysis of all the manifestos (links given) relevant to the expats.

Manifesto promises.


On VotingWe will complete the electoral register, by working to include more of the five million Britons who live abroad. We will introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting.”

On Pensions: In place of these meagre pension increases, we have introduced the triple lock: the Basic State Pension will now always rise in line with whichever is higher – earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.” 

On WFP:  “We will maintain all the current pensioner benefits including Winter Fuel Payments, free bus passes, free prescriptions and TV licences for the next Parliament, while implementing the "temperature test" for Winter Fuel Payment, so that expats in hot countries no longer receive it.”page 67
This addition slightly turns my stomach.

Green Party

On WFP   “Keep the pensioners bus pass and Winter Fuel Payment” 

On Frozen pensions“Make sure that all pensioners living abroad receive the same pension and annual pension increase as those living in the UK.”

Labour Party.

The Labour Party has also produced a ‘Manifesto for Europe’.  It contains nothing relating to the British Citizens who live across the Channel


On WFP  We will stop paying Winter Fuel Payments to the richest five per cent of pensioners,


Liberal- Democrat Party


On Pensions and WFPLegislate for the Liberal Democrat ‘triple lock’ of increasing the State Pension each year by the highest of earnings growth, prices growth or 2.5%. Withdraw eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment and free TV Licence from pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate (40%). We will retain the free bus pass for all pensioners.

On VotingIntroduce votes at age 16 for elections and referendums across the UK, and make it easier to register to vote in schools and colleges. Explore options to strengthen and simplify the voting rights of UK citizens living abroad and address disenfranchisement experienced by some.


The manifesto follows an earlier Lib Dem policy commitment, adopted at the party's 2014 spring conference as part of a policy on political reform, to "explore the viability of 'overseas' constituencies such as those used in some other European countries" and "seek EU-wide agreement on the basis of reciprocity to ensure that EU citizens who exercise their fundamental rights of freedom of movement within the EU do not find themselves disenfranchised."



On WFP:  Keep free bus passes, winter fuel allowances, free TV licenses for the over 75s and free prescriptions and eye tests for the over-60s, without means testing.

On Voting:  Restrict the entitlement to vote in British general elections to British citizens and, potentially, countries which have reciprocal voting rights for British citizens, such as Ireland.


Brian Cave
le Fourquet, Gourdon, 46300, France

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

-Votes for Britons  -  



After the windy weather earlier in the month we are currently enjoying lovely, sunny spring weather, perfect for getting out and enjoying our gardens.  It is still an excellent time to be planting perennials and sub shrubs which will bulk up this year to give a display this summer even although their display will, of course, be better in year two and onwards of planting.  Where you have space think about planting in groups (ones, threes and fives) for more impact rather than single specimens of one variety.  The fine weather means that many problem perennial weeds such as couch grass, bindweed and bryony are starting to put on a lot of growth; do try and deal with these before they get worse.  If you have tall perennials think about whether you need to stake them, similarly, tie in annual shoots on climbers such as Clematis viticella cultivars.

There are many spring flowering shrubs that look stunning at the moment.  I tend to classify them into two broad categories; some, such as the early flowering buddleja species are showy, scented, wonderful in flower but lack interest and may become straggly specmens for the rest of the year.  Ideally, one might site these at the back of a border or in a corner that is unseen for some of the time.  Other plants are what I tend to term

"good value plants", in that they offer interest at various times of the year - this might simply be because their flowering season is long, or they have good foliage or they have interesting fruit; one such is Amelanchier canadensis - beautiful white flowers now, pretty berries in June and stunning autumn colour later in the year.  There is an indigenous species, Amelanchier ovalis which you may find in flower in the garrigue.

At La Petite Pépinière we have a number of events coming up during the spring and early summer and we shall hope to see some of you at these.

* Sunday 19th April: 'Journee Mondiale de l'Art' in the Minervois, 11am - 6pm

La Petite Pépinière is delighted to welcome Marianne Frossard who will have an installation here in the garden. 

There will be various exhibitions in local villages from 11am until 6pm. For more details, email us for the full programme, or just come along to the nursery and have a look. 

* Sunday 10th May: Planting Design with Mediterranean Native Plants workshop, 10.30am, repeated at 2pm

Come along to this free event to learn about some great planting combinations and designs using Cistus, Phlomis, Teucrium, Thyme, Origanum and Spring bulbs...  

Gill Pound will give a guided tour to talk about using Mediterranean native plants, looking at the garden's driest and hardiest Mediterranean borders. Imogen Checketts & Kate Dumbleton will then talk you through 3 different design templates which we will place out in the garden. You can take away copies of the planting plans. 

* Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June: Annual Open Weekend and Summer Sale

More details soon. 10 to 18h both days

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


Job offer:

Looking for a young English person, proficient at Internet Market and Affiliate Marketing to join me - 50% net profits on results - Aude area - 04 68 24 06 62 


Contrary to the experience in the latest Flyer. It took me less than 30 mins to register a UK Caravan and receive a temporary Carte Grise at the Carcassonne. The actual Carte Grise arrive 2 days later by Post. It did require a Certificate of Confomite but no Quittus Fiscale.








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 18 Avril


Coursan Videgrenier

Limoux Salon antiquites brocante

PamiersVide grenier matériel de pêche

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante

Dimanche 19 Avril

Azille Vide grenier

Barbaira Foire aux loisirs créatifs

BramVide Grenier AS Bram Handball

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

CastelnaudaryVide grenier

Coursan Vide grenier

Coursan 24ème Fête Florale

Cuxac-d'Aude Vide grenier et produit terroirs et bourse aux vetements

Fraissé-des-Corbières Vide grenier, friperie.

Gruissan Vide grenier du VTT

Homps Vide grenier

LauraguelVide grenier

LimouxSalon antiquites brocante

MirepeissetGratiféria (bourse gratuite) du Sel du Minervois

MoussoulensVide grenier

Narbonne Puces de couturieres et des loisirs creatifs

Narbonne Videgrenier des Amis Du RCNM

Ornaisons Vide grenier au profit des animaux et de la nature

Rouffiac-d'Aude Vide grenier

Saint-Pierre-la-Mer Vide grenier

Sigean Vide Grenier

Villegailhenc Vide grenier

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-Girons Les puces du champ de mars

Saint-Ybars Vide Grenier Mensuel

SaverdunGrand vide greniers sur le champ de mars

Tarascon-sur-Ariège Vide grenier

Samedi 25 Avril

Coursan Vide grenier

Limoux Fête du Printemps

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante

Dimanche 26 Avril


Aigues-Vives Vide grenier du football

Alairac Vide Grenier de l'école d'Alairac

Armissan Vide grenier du Comité des Fêtes

Azille Vide grenier de la MJC

Bages Vide-greniers

CarcassonneVide-grenier organisé par le Davilla Pétanque

CarcassonneVide grenier brocante

CoursanVide grenier à Coursan

Fleury d'aude Le 2em Printemps de Rando Fleury Clape

Gruissan Vide grenier

Laurabuc Vide grenier de printemps

Luc-sur-Orbieu Vide-greniers

Marcorignan Vide grenier de la MJC

Moussoulens Vide grenier

Narbonne Vide maison avant déménagement

PauligneVide grenier

Quillan Vide grenier

Saint-Marcel sur Aude Vide grenier

Ventenac-en-Minervois Vide Grenier du Printemps du Comite des Fêtes de Ventenac

Villalier Vide grenier-marche aux fleurs

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Pamiers Vide Grenier de l'association des commerçants

Savignac-les-Ormeaux Vide grenier



 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



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









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1 image and 25 words, plus contact details

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

25 €

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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

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

Standard Display Advert - Corporate


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


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

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Finished artwork to be 378 pixels by 200 pixels landscape

What's on feature advert

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information about advertising rates and specifications.
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