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Well, whatever team you wanted to win the UK General Election, to me It’s just fantastic there was an immediate result. The TV Channels had a terrible time with all kinds of programmes planned,  staff and guests booked, all dressed up with nowhere to go but to continue and make some rather pointless filling programming.  Now it’s just the battles as to who takes over as leaders of the parties that are now headless chickens.

Farage didn’t stay away long eh?  Paddy Power has the Labour Party fave as Chuka Umunna  at 5/4, David Miliband is currently at 18/1, but I am sure he doesn’t want to sit around for 5 years in the wilderness.   Interestingly Boris is only given odds of 2/1 for being next PM.  Boris said his position on the “Political Cabinet” is not a real job, likening it to a zero hours contract.   Well how much time can he really put in when being MP for Uxbridge and being Mayor of London?


Francois Hollande seems to be off on some junkets,  to Cuba where he is telling the USA to drop their embargo.   I thought those changes were already in progress? After that he went to Guadeloupe at the inauguration of a slavery memorial, and in his speech he appears to have dug himself a nice hole, as he said “When I come to Haiti, I will, for my part, settle the debt that we have.”  Hollande’s words reawakened a claim made by many Haitians: that their country is owed back the money it was required to pay to France after becoming independent in 1804.  In February he was in the Phillipines with some actresses?  I would have thought he had learned his lesson there.

It’s strange that Olympic Airways have not cropped up as an airline needing cash to keep going?  It used to be one of the companies that continued allowing passengers to smoke on board, maybe that gave them enough of an edge to stay out of trouble?  Ok no - Olympic Airways became Olympic Air taken over by a Greek investment fund.


Have the British Museum popped in a “without prejudice” offer for the Elgin Marbles for the Greek Government in their hour of need?


Don’t worry May will soon be finished and everything will be open as usual again.

However its going to be major disruptions on Tuesday as MR Hollande is coming to Carcassonne to meet the workers who have taken over Pilpa the ice  cream factory. It was sold for gesquillionsa few years ago and it would appear little investment went on and the owners decided to shut it down. Then the workers took over. He will be there at 17.30 and then a speech in the centre of town.

And yes of course since i wrote the above Chaka Khan or whatever he's called has bottled and Andy Burnham is now 6/4 fave. PaddyPower are offering 6/5 on Sarko  and 250/1 on DSK as next President orf the Republique


Thousands of regular readers make the Flyer the place to be seen

Lost in France


Ah it’s all over in the UK, but here in France the never-ending soap opera which is the Front National continues with senior Le Pen being ousted by the middle Le Pen whilst the young Le Pen vies for position.


Granted Marine Le Pen has supposedly tried to change the hard-line racism and anti-semitism of the FN but with a father like that promising all-out war against her, she’s going to have a job keeping the party together.  Not knowing enough French actors I would imagine (if she could actually act) Madonna playing Marine and Michael Gambon as her father, when it does get to film.  The fact that she (Madonna) has already mentioned wanting to meet Middle means that she may have recognised the similarity. If Senior’s dog hadn’t killed Middle’s cat it might have been a different story.


I was surprised to find myself discussing French politics with a stall holder at last Sunday’s vide grenier.  He was a Le Pen (middle one) supporter and was saying that she was what was needed to take France back to its glory years.  I was thinking, when was that?  Louis XIV?  But no, he mentioned  the 60s,70s, 80s.  I countered with the fact that Middle Le Pen was anti-foreigners and he commented ‘Not foreigners like you’.  I could have mentioned Middle Le Pen’s comment about closing the trading borders and leaving French products for the French, that would leave a lot of flatulent, drunk people trying to consume all the cheese and wine themselves.

  I should have continued the conversation but his eyes glazed over when I tried to explain the impossibility of businesses surviving in France; of the fact that some French products weren’t even sold in France and that they had to be imported back to France from the UK so I cut my losses and went off to buy another fluffy toy for the dog (mine not old Le Pen’s).










 lenetwork  Local press ad

 Carolyn Knight new ad

gaf ad5 




Oh my, what to talk about this week? Whatever you do, don’t invest in or place any reliance on opinion polls.  Amazingly, we already have a new government; non-committal about staying in Europe, but firm on staying out of the Euro, and we have an EU country, Greece, firmly committed to staying in Europe, but possibly about to be forced to leave the Euro due to profligate bankruptcy.  Actually not only bankruptcy, but the next stage on from that; running out of friends, or in fact anyone, who will now lend them money. This is beginning to look like a one way street for the Euro, but beware.  Nothing is ever as clear cut as it seems.


Misinformation.  Cleary a problem for politicians, but a big problem for us too. What I want to talk about today is the worrying number of new clients that I’ve seen so far this year who have previously accepted financial advice that is clearly flawed. If you took advice on investments before you came to France, or maybe have sought advice from unregulated sources since you got here, you may well be the proud owner of an offshore bond.  If this sounds like you, then please keep on reading.  You have the wrong investment for successful tax efficiency in France, and it can have severe consequences.


Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing illegal about holding a Jersey or Isle of Man domiciled bond in France, as long as you declare it to the ‘fisc’, but you may well be in for a nasty surprise when you start to draw money as regular income or one-off cash injections.  And whatever you do, don’t die.  Not that it will bother you too much at this point, but it will only add to the consternation of your beneficiaries if your local tax office turns its nose up at your non-European, definitely non assurance vie bond.



If your bond is not a true assurance vie, it will not be set up to jump through the tax hoops that the French tax system presents.  How do you tell if your bond will be able to jump through the hoops?  Well, you’re off to a good start if you talk to a regulated and approved adviser registered in France, who offers you an assurance vie.  This must be compliant.  Anything else, and you should start to worry.  There are a few ‘litmus’ tests you can use.  The first is elementary geography.  Is your bond issued in Europe?  If not, forget it.  You do not have an assurance vie, or anything like it. Secondly, ask your bond provider if he will be able to give you certified tax information to enable you to make your French tax return.  Unless you can be completely satisfied that you will be told exactly how much of your withdrawal is taxable, in Euros (even if the bond is in sterling), you have a problem, and you have the wrong bond. You will pay more tax on the gain and you will lose out on various other benefits than if you had structured the exact same underlying investments inside an assurance vie.  You have, in short, been badly advised.  This is not necessarily through deceit or bad practice, but almost certainly through ignorance; both of the French financial system and of its products.  Most likely the advice will have come from a UK IFA trying to keep a grip on a client moving abroad, or an international IFA operating outside of his usual area.


Help is available.  Spectrum financial advisers are registered and regulated in the countries in which we work.  Unlike in the UK, we do not charge for our advice or time. Taking advice from registered advisers is a no-lose situation.  You will get good advice; you won’t be hassled or coerced into doing anything at all that you’re not entirely comfortable with, and you won’t be charged.


A good way to meet advisers is to attend a financial seminar, such as those currently taking place under the ‘Le Tour de Finance’ banner.  Handily, there are two such seminars in the Languedoc this month, and Daphne and I will be at both of them.


We’d love to see you there.  If you’d like a place, just let me know, or log on to and register through the site.


If you have any questions or comments 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 on


And about France-Financial on

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 JAZZ 22.05.2015 AUDE


















meteo ciel3






Bridge problem.

You are in four spades after your left-hand-opponent opened the bidding with one diamond. They lead the King of diamonds.  Plan the play.

                                           5 4 3 2
                                           9 7 6
                                           A 5 4
                                           9 8 7

                                           Your hand
                                           A K Q J 10
                                           A K
                                           9 8 7
                                           K Q 10


You have two certain diamond losers so must restrict your club losers to one. You are in Dummy one and only time with the Ace of diamonds so, win the lead and play a club to the ten immediately, hoping that your right-hand-opponent has the jack of clubs. This is a better chance thatn hoping for the Jack to be doubleton in either hand.


Lizzie Godfrey













After rain at the end of April and warm weather the garden is growing and flowering like crazy - so, lots of jobs to getting on with!  There is still time to plant container grown plants but you will need to keep a close eye on their watering needs during the coming summer.  Keep an eye out too for aphids (greenfly & blackfly) on your shrubs and roses and take approriate action.   if you have box topiary now is a good time to clip your bushes and hedges.  However, I have had a number of emails recently from people wih problems on their box plants.  The most common seems to be the box tree caterpillar (Cydalima perspectalis or la pyrale); getting rid of this is difficult and many people are now replacing box with other forms of hedge.  The question is what!  In the Languedoc climate there are a number of small leaved evergreen shrubs which can easily replace box and stand clipping well.  One, good for particularly tough situations, is the native Phillyrea


angustifolia.  Med native Myrtus communis tarentina is another possibility as is privet (Ligustrum vulgare) or the South African native Myrsine africana or the Christmas box, Sarcococca species. 


There are also two forms of box blight around that are also causing real problems, although fungicides may help.  If anyone would like more information about these I have some notes in French that came from the Association des Parcs et Jardins du Languedoc-Roussillon that I would happily forward to you.


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





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 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)
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 readers write


Hi everybody , please take the time to read this,

Those who haven’t yet been to express their opposition to the project to build wind turbines just above Leran in the Bois de Sarraute still have 2 opportunities remaining: 

Saturday 16th May 9h-12h

Thursday 21st May 9h-12h.  Both at the Mairie at Troye D’Ariege.

It’s best to go with a pre-prepared document and you may have to wait your turn so expect to be there for 1/2 hour at least.

You do also have the option of writing to the Prefet via email  

The title of this email says it all; the proposed turbines have to be huge as they seek to find some wind in our lovely protected corner of the Pyrenees. I met a young Dutchman recently who was marvelling at the 150m height and he doesn’t think they have built them this high in Europe as yet. I think he might be right as I have been trying to go and get some first hand experience and couldn’t find any. They do have them in the USA , where they tend to be sited in deserts, or on vast plains where not a soul can be seen for miles.

To chop down acres of pristine woodland that is home to many endangered species and also a migration corridor and put them on a hilltop in amongst several villages seems so wrong. How can they do this? If you take the time to read the ‘Permis de Construire ‘ application you will see they make mention of all these sensitive issues; the people, the creatures, the woodland, but by mentioning them they imply having taken measures to protect them, whereas it’s really just a cynical way of pulling the wool over our eyes . The document is full of anomalies and doublespeak. It’s quite a lesson in corporate greenwashing.

None of us are against renewable energy, but what we are trying to stop here is the erecting of enormous steel and concrete monoliths in the name of the environment-not to mention the ‘rare earths’ used in the machines the production of which are turning vast swathes of China into lakes of toxic waste. 

The installation alone will require turning the bois de Sarraute into a building site with heavy construction vehicles, massive cranes etc for 18 months. Roads will also need to be widened .Once all that infrastructure is in place there will be a strong argument for building even more turbines in the near future. 

Wind turbines should be where the wind is. Offshore is looking like the best place. The Dutch have recently voted not to build any more turbines on land. 

Aside from this,the Ariège produces more electricity than it uses through Hydro-electric power. We already do our share.

Please, if you haven’t already done so, just take a moment to write to the Prefet, or sign the petition online-or BOTH! 

The Current Prefet is against the project but she will only be in power for a few more months and who knows what the next one will do; he/she may well have political aspirations and not the wellbeing of the Ariège on the top of the agenda.

Please click on the link below and register and sign the petition, don’t worry you will not be bombarded with spam nor other petitions. This is very important and we must act now.




Hi Steve,

I've got a problem with my car amp and would like very much to find someone who can test a car amplifier, hopefully not too far from Limoux.  So would appreciate any suggestions.


Peter Burbage

Mail to on this one please








Some vide greniers and foires!
Please check before setting off
They also have a sister site where you can giveaway stuff or find stuff others are giving
Its all recycling - you know it makes sense!
If there are two in the same town on the same day, it could be a duplicate on the site or a second event
Black = Aude - Brown = Ariege

Mercredi 13 Mai 2015

Saint-Martin-Lalande Vide-hangar-vide-grenier à domicile

Jeudi 14 Mai 2015

Arzens Vide-Greniers de la Chorale la Malepère

Canet Vide Grenier duComité des Fêtes

Fontjoncouse Vide grenier

Gruissan  Vide greniers -Gruissan dans le vent

Narbonne Videgreniers

PalajaVide-grenier dupetanque club palajanais

Puivert Vide grenier et fête printanière le 14 Mai au lac de Puivert

Rieux-Minervois Vide-Grenie, Fête du Printemps, Marché

Roquetaillade Vide Grenier Roquetaillade

Saint-Martin-Lalande Vide-hangar-vide-grenier à domicile

Saint-Pierre-la-Mer Vide grenier

Thézan-des-Corbières Les Floralies

Trèbes Vide grenier du Trèbes Football Club

Villardonnel Vide grenier du Foyer rural de Villardonnel

MontgailhardVide grenier

Vendredi 15 Mai 2015

Saint-Martin-Lalande Vide-hangar-vide-grenier à domicile

Samedi 16 Mai 2015

Carcassonne Vide maison

Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Saint-Martin-Lalande Vide-hangar-vide-grenier à domicile

Lordat Vide greniers de Lordat

MazèresFete de famille

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante

Dimanche 17 Mai 2015

Bize-Minervois Méga Vide grenier Fitiavana Madagascar

Cailhau Bourse aux jouets, livres, cd, dvd enfants. Pas de vêtements

Carcassonne Vide GrenierFrance Alzheimer Aude

Carcassonne Vide grenier deprintemps du quartier des castors

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Citou Vide grenier

Coursan Vide grenier organise par ASIPE

Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Fabrezanvide grenier de la Barca

Fraissé-des-Corbières Vide grenier, friperie

Ginestas Mega vide grenier

Lagrasse Brocante, Vide grenier

Limoux Videgrenier associatif

Limoux Mega Vide grenier du tennis club de Limoux

Moussoulens Vide grenier

Narbonne Vide grenier des AMIS DU RCNM

Port-la-Nouvelle Vide greniers de la calendreta




PuichericVide grenier de l'amicale des sapeurs pompiers de Puicheric

Roubia Vide greniers de l'Union Sportive Roubianaise

Sigean 5èmes puces des couturières

Souilhanels 4ème Vide Grenier ducomité des fêtes

Campagne-sur-Arize Vide-Greniers

Esplas de Serou VideGrenier et Troc Jardin (troc aux plantes)

Laroque-d'Olmes Grand deballage solidaire

Manses Vide greniersde printemps

Mazères Fete de famille

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-Jean-du-Falga Vide Grenier de printemps

Saint-Ybars Vide Grenier Mensuel

Samedi 23 Mai 2015

Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante


Dimanche 24 Mai 2015

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Coursan Videgrenier à Coursan

Cuxac-d'Aude Vide grenier et produits terroir et bourses vetements

FaVide-Grenier de l'école de Fa

Fitou Vide greniers brocante

La Digne-d'Amont Vide greniers du comité des fêtes

Lapradelle Vide grenier

Mailhac Vide grenier marche du terroir et de l’artisanat

Montlaur Troc des plantes, graines, outils (aucun échange monétaire)

Montlegun Urban style vide ton grenier

Moussoulens Vide grenier

Narbonne-Plage Vide grenier

Quillan Vide-greniers

Ricaud Vide grenier et dressing

Saint-Marcel sur Aude Vide grenier

Sallèles-d'Aude Vide grenier de l association des commerçants

SigeanVide Grenier des sapeurs pompiers de Sigean

Thézan-des-Corbières Antiquite, brocante

Ventenac-en-Minervois Vide grenier Vide-greniers et marché aux puces

La Bastide-du-Salat Vide-greniers et Marché de printemps

La Bastide-sur-l'Hers vide grenier et vide jardin

Mirepoix 55° Bourse toutes collections

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes



 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



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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