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So you are tootling around Europe on your hols and the next thing you know you are kissing presidents and getting medals. The world’s gone mad.  Do you think the French intelligence service now has someone following every potential…? Well, what is our man from Morocco? A terrorist or as his lawyer is putting forward, a bungling train robber who happened to find a suitcase in a park in Belgium? Said suitcase contained guns ammunition, a knife and a mobile phone.  Yeah right, tire l'autre un. Surely for even thinking such a thing the lawyer should be drummed out of his fraternity.  It’s now come to light that he had been watching some jihadist You Tube clips whilst on the train, no doubt pre-programmed on an alarm on the phone.

And if you are involved in an emergency it’s quite a task as to decide who to call?  The interior ministry says having a separate call centre for these incidents will enable staff to receive specific training on how to handle incoming calls.  This brings to 11 the range of phone numbers available for calling the emergency services in France - the highest number in Europe, ahead of Belgium on 10.

Having specific numbers for each type of emergency is designed to route callers to the people who can help as quickly as possible. All the numbers are free from a landline or mobile.  If you cannot remember them all, then dialling the Europe-wide 112 is a good first port of call.

15: SAMU (medical emergency) 
17: Police 
18: Fire fighters (pompiers are also paramedics and can respond quickly to heart attacks etc).

112: Europe-wide emergency number 
114: Text-message emergency number for deaf / hard of hearing 
115: SAMU social (domestic violence / care for homeless in winter) 
116000: Missing children 
119: Social services (mistreated children) 
191: Aeronautical emergency 
196: Maritime emergency / coastguard 
197: Terror / kidnapping hotline 

Wouldn’t it be better if there was just one number and the person answering has a list to transfer people to the correct service? What if you lost a child on an aeroplane and there wasn’t an R in the month, who knows?

As we drift into September it should get cooler and the evening markets will diminish, and it will be time to think of truffles and things gras.


That share crisis in China i saw headlined as Great fall of China, that made me laugh






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

Lost in France


We are renovating a small barn.  Nothing unusual in that.  We are taking a long time about it as everything to do with building and renovation is new to us.  So we are learning as we go along.  We’ve rebuilt the front to deal with the subsidence.  We’ve installed new windows, new doors, new windows and a new velux.  We are in the middle of a village so everyone knows what we are doing and despite the fact we have made no major changes to the exterior other than to put a glass door where there was once a wooden door we did ask for permission.

Once the work had started we began getting letters from the Tresorie to tell them when the work would be completed.  I kept replying, saying next year, next year, but the letters kept coming.  Eventually I received one with a long form to fill in and being a tiny bit wiser to the system I realised this was for tax purposes so that I could complete it and they could ask for more money because of all the toilets, bedrooms and bathrooms we had installed.  It was a barn to start with and it will still be a barn when we finish with none of the above installed.  I went to the Mairie and told this and was told to go to the Tresorie and explain that to them.  Once I did that the letters stopped.

Our neighbour who is very particular and also the village mayor is very interested in our barn.  He likes everything to look just so.  Our garden is nine tenths building site and one tenth a garden.  He would like it to look 100% nice and pretty.  We currently don’t do nice and pretty.

The outside of the barn is particularly grim, part metal studwork, part crumbling render and part exposed bricks so admittedly it could look better.  Our neighbour has told us many times what a good job we are doing, how nice the new windows are etc. etc.  At one point last year he told us that there were grants available for the ‘prettification’ (Microsoft’s grammar police haven’t underlined that word so it must exist) of villages.  We could apply for the grant to do the external rendering of the barn.  Good idea as we could get, I believe, 30% refunded.

We continue on with the work until we think the weather is good enough (August - except it’s been the rainiest August I remember) to take the old render off and at that point I speak to the neighbour to find out more information on the grant.   I knew it.  First of all you need to call the local authority (Carcassonne Agglo) to arrange for an architect to come round to survey the property (September at least) and arrange to create a dossier.   The good thing is that all this work will not cost me anything but the bad bit is the dossier will then be presented to the council (around October time) and a decision will be made (probably April).  There are no chances of doing the work and then asking for the money after wards.  Oh good.  And so we continue.



 Fete Du Cassoulet 26 to 30 August Castelnaudary







 lenetwork  Local press ad







At this time of the year, it’s pretty difficult for anyone to think about financial planning. The sun is usually shining

and our families are visiting, or perhaps we are taking our own vacations somewhere else. Tax, investment

markets, pensions and inheritance planning are the last things that people usually want to think about.



Some of us at The Spectrum IFA Group are also taking our annual break. In fact, I am on holiday as I write this article

and so no new technical information from me this month about EU Regulations and French taxes. September is

around the corner and in line with the traditional French ‘rentrée’, I will be back at my desk then. In the meantime, if

you wish to read previous articles that I have written on important financial subjects that are highly relevant to

French residency, please visit my page on our own website at


September is usually a time when we can look towards the final quarter of the year and make reasonable

assumptions about what might happen in investment markets over the remainder of the year. This year has had

a fair share of financial and economic events already and the Greek debt crisis and the possibility of a Grexit is

one that has provided much uncertainty, which resulted in market volatility and pressure on the Euro. More

recently, there has been a devaluation of the Chinese currency and that has escalated thoughts that growth in

China may be less than previously thought. Others think that it might be a step to ‘insure’ the currency against

a possible increase in US rates, by removing the link that was in place whereby the yuan was pegged to the US dollar.


For countries exporting to China, including the UK, the currency devaluation could be bad news, since those

countries’ goods will become more expensive to the Chinese people and they may choose domestic goods instead.

On the other side of the coin, goods imported from China will be cheaper to us, which would usually be good news

in a world that was economically stable. However, this could lead to a lowering of the rate of inflation in those

countries receiving Chinese goods, again including the UK. Hence, the big question now is will the effect of the

Chinese currency devolution delay the anticipated rise in UK interest rates?


There are other things that could affect the way that markets perform over the rest of the year and into 2016.

What is the prospect for global equity and bond markets? Are we reaching the peak of the current market cycle?

Should you be taking short-term ‘protective’ actions to protect your wealth for the long-term? To make things more

difficult for us, we have to consider these things against a background of the potential referendum on the UK’s

continuing membership of the EU!


All very interesting questions and fortunately, we are again holding our popular financial seminars across

France – “Le Tour de Finance - Bringing Experts to Expats”, which is a perfect opportunity for you to discuss

some of these questions directly with experts. Our industry experts will be presenting updates and outlooks on a

broad range of subjects, including:


-       Financial Markets

-       Assurance Vie

-       Pensions/QROPS

-       Structured Investments

-       French Tax Issues

-       Currency Exchange


The date for the local seminar is Friday, 9th October 2015 at the Domaine Gayda, 11300 Brugairolles.

Places are limited and must be reserved, in advance. This venue is always very popular and so early booking is recommended.

Other events are taking place earlier during that week at:


        St Endreol (Provence) on 7th October

    •        Aix-en-Provence on 8th October

If you would like to attend the seminar or would anyway like to have a confidential discussion about any aspect

of financial planning, please contact me either by e-mail at or by telephone

on  04 68 20 30 17.


The above outline is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a recommendation

from The Spectrum IFA Group to take any particular action on the subject of investment of financial assets or the

mitigation of taxes.


The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given,

as can be seen from our Client Charter at


Daphne Foulkes

SIRET 522 658 194 00017

Numéro d’immatriculation ORIAS 10 056 800

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


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Forum:      Local Association No : W112000594




 LATINO 28.08.2015 aude

 Fanjeaux 001















 fournil 25815  
meteo ciel3

 truff15 to 16


 Tech Talk





Why do we fear technology.


Should you fear technology, should you respect technology or should you just embrace technology and enjoy using it. Without doubt the later embrace technology and simply enjoy it.

Ok easier said than done I hear you say, many say that I am of a younger generation and we were brought up with computers so we understand them. They say that the older generation did not have computers so will never understand them. I don’t think this is true, yes we might have been brought up in different times and with a different type of education and we all have slightly different skills in different areas – but we are all capable of learning.

So why do the older generation find computers and technology so difficult – there is a very simple answer – FEAR! The younger generation simple do not have any fear of technology, yes we were brought up with it but we were never really taught it – our teachers in many cases were simply not equipped and had no experience themselves of technology. As far as I can tell the only difference is – confidence.

I can hear the screams of anguish even from here (writing this while on holiday in the UK). Absolute rubbish – but is it. I can work a computer, I can fix computers but I cannot paint, draw or play music, I have many qualifications and two degrees but ask me to do fractions or work things out in feet and inches or even worse pounds and ounces and you will see me beating a hasty retreat and running for the hills.

Yes I can do those things – but I don’t like to and I am not confident in doing so and its exactly the same with computers and technology our fear of the unknown holds us back and hinders our confidence.

So how do we gain confidence and banish our fears – the very same way the younger generations do – you find some technology you like and you enjoy using it. Whether that’s an iPad, a Kindle, a Satellite TV box or even a digital camera it all counts and it all helps.

Basic guide to having fun with Technology.

  1. Do not read the manual – you will not remember it and it will make you worry to much.
  2. Use trial and error to work things out – just have a go, you cannot break it and OK you might have to reload the software but that’s not the end of the world.
  3. Try something new or different every day – find a new website, click on an icon you’ve never used before.
  4. Don’t learn a 1. 2. 3. Method – things change and if you learn a list of instructions you NEVER learn use the technology. Learn but repeatedly do it, repetition, learn by looking for similarities – Every program has the same Menus – File, Edit etc and uses the same commands – throw the instructions away and just do it, then change to a different program and do the same thing there.
  5. The the things you want to do, not the thing you think you should be doing.
  6. Above all have FUN, do not let technology hinder you or scare you – just enjoy it.

Yes things do go wrong and we often do not know why – computers do not have a self destruct button – there is every little you can do that will break it. Yes they get in a mess, yes they can get infected and yes we can lose things we really wanted to keep.

So lesson No.1 – BACKUP you data (documents, pictures etc..) Use a cloud drive, or a USB key or external hard drive, copy everything important over to that location – thats COPY not move! Once this is done off you go and have fun the important stuff is safe and if it goes wrong its not the end of the world.  No matter how many times I say this its the one thing that’s rarely done but it’s the most import thing of all – BACKUP.

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.

Bruce Taylor.


 csf bookaug15




Bridge problem.


You have bid to an excellent contract - seven diamonds. Now you have to make it! The defence lead the unhelpful King of clubs. Now what is your plan?


A 10

7 5 3 2

K Q 5 4

J 4 3

Your hand

K Q 6 4


A J 10 9 8 7



You can make three ruffs in hand and four trump tricks, three spade tricks and the Ace and King of hearts. You will need one more trick from somewhere. Here’s a plan: ruff the lead and draw trumps. Now cash the Ace and King of hearts. If the Queen drops, you are home. If it doesn’t, you ll just have to finesse that ten of spades in Dummy. The finesse has a 50% chance and a Queen dropping doubleton when you have seven cards in the suit is 16%. Combining the two gives you – 66% - your best chance.





Lizzie Godfrey







Can you help Iain Duncan Smith to consider his position?
by also signing the TWO petitions below that have already have been launched and strongly supported by UK based citizens to help induce Mr Smith to consider his position" width="116" align="left" height="175">Debbie Abrahams MP, who has been a leading light in the fight to force the Conservative Government to reveal the true number of people who have died following Duncan Smith’s “welfare reforms”, said the Work and Pensions secretary’s behaviour was a “disgrace” and his position was untenable.

“As a member of the Work and Pensions select committee, I have called for Iain Duncan Smith to resign following revelations that his department created a leaflet about sanctions containing made-up quotes attributed to non-existent benefit claimants. 

Further ---

Iain Duncan Smith’s Department fiddled temperature statistics whereby the French outermost regions of tropical countries were included with mainland France to create an illusion that France was hotter than Southern England and Italy during the winter months.  By creating that falsehood he has claimed that he was honest in removing the winter Fuel payment from pensioners in France and he continued to use such doubtfully based statistics to affect the pensioners in 6 other countries and  one dependency in the EU.

Even so, any change to the benefit which discriminates against British pensioners elsewhere in the EU would be prima facie contrary to treaty agreements.


Many people have contacted a Work & Pensions Select Committee’s Inquiry on 'accurate delivery of benefits' via  to observe that IDS’s Statutory Instrument 3270 of  2014, which will obstruct these payments from this September is in fact an attempt to remove many pensioners from receiving this benefit (it is in effect a State Pension winter supplement). So it would follow that these pensioners cannot be ‘targeted’ accurately or otherwise.  Most of these pensioners have received replies of ‘rejected submission’.  The argument is put forward that the matter is a concern of ‘policy’ and is not within the remit of the Inquiry.

A letter has been sent to Mr. Frank Field MP, the chairman of the Select Committee giving the facts as we see them.  Essentially that IDS is distorting the truth to achieve his ends of saving money.  

TWO petitions have been launched by UK based citizens to help induce Mr Smith to consider his position



Both have been increasing their numbers greatly – why not help!

MPs email address are here

If you do not want to receive further messages relating to this or other topics such as the VOTES-for –LIFE Bill – just reply ‘no thank you’.
Only by a demonstration of power of numbers will the expatriate get noticed at Westminster

Brian Cave
le Fourquet, Gourdon, 46300, France


-Votes for Britons  -   







As we move towards the end of August it is time to start thinking about early autumn tasks in the garden, especially now that we have had a little rain.  Now is a good time to sow some more parsley seeds so that you have a good supply for late autumn and even into the winter and early spring.  Parsley can be sown in rows in your veg patch or simply look for a few gaps in a flower border (preferably with some afternoon shade) and make a few drills to scatter seeds.  Parsley seed can be difficult to germinate and it may help to soak it for a couple of hours in warm water before sowing.  And while we are thinking about herbs ....  this is a good time to take cuttings of herbs such as rosemary and sage to ensure your supply.  Take short tip or heel cuttings from green wood and plant about a dozen cuttings in a 13cm diameter pot, keep them watered and lightly shaded and you should be able to increase your supply without difficulty.


The mallow family (Malvaceae) includes many of our favourite garden plants such as hibiscus, lavatera and abutilon, and if you are really interested have a look at  A genus in the mallow family which is less well known is Pavonia but there are two members of this genus which flower well through our summer and are surprisingly drought tolerant.  Pavonia hastata is a small shrub to about 90cm height with a similar spread, it has numerous pinkish hibiscus-like flowers with a dark crimson spot in the centre. The flowers are around 5 cm (2") and last one day only, but are quickly replaced by others, so the plant will usually have many flowers at the same time. The plant will form buds in spring but these usually will not open, although seed setting will follow. This is a phenomenon known as "cleistogamy", which is probably an adaptation to unfavourable environmental conditions. However, buds will become blooms in early summer.  The plant is winter hardy here and can be pruned hard back at the end of winter to make a bushier plant.  Another very free flowering pavonia is Pavonia missionum which has a similar growth habit with orange red flowers.  Both plants like a well drained soil in full sun.


In a change to our publicised opening hours we shall be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm until the end of July and after the beginning of September.  During August we shall be open by appointment only, just phone or email if you would like to come and visit the garden or discuss autumn orders.


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. Remember that you are always welcome to visit the garden 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




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

Jeudi 27 Août


Narbonne Vide Grenier nocturne exceptionnel


Samedi 29 Août

Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante

Varilhes Vide grenier brocante


Dimanche 30 Août

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Coursan  Vide grenier à Coursan

HounouxVide-greniers, Fête d'été à Hounoux

Narbonne Vide grenier et jouets et vetements

Quillan Vide grenier organisé par l'association "chats libres"

Ribaute Vide grenier du cercle

Saint-Jean-de-Paracol Vide grenier

Saint-Marcel sur Aude Vide greniers de la Gym

Saissac Vide grenier du Foyer Rural de Saissac

Ax-les-Thermes Vide greniers du tennis club d'Ax les thermes

Ilhat Vide grenier et Fête du village

Laroque-d'Olmes Vide grenier

Montaut Vide grenier de l'U.S.M.A.

Pamiers Marché etpuces et à la brocantes

Varilhes Vide grenier brocante

Samedi 5 Septembre


CoursanVide grenier à Coursan

Port LeucateVide grenier - brocante

TrèbesVide-Greniers Trèbes Tennis de Table

Lézat-sur-LèzeVide greniers

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante




Dimanche 6 Septembre

Narbonne Vide grenier foire au jouets et linges

AlzonneVide dressing pompiers solidaires

CarcassonneVide grenier brocante

Carcassonne20 ième Vide grenier organisé par le Trivalenc

Conques-sur-OrbielVide grenier de l'ECV XV

CoursanVide grenier à Coursan

CruscadesVide grenier des vendange

Cuxac-d'AudeMéga Vide Grenier Fitiavana Madagascar

GruissanVide-Grenier Association Gruis'Sang

LagrasseBrocante - Vide grenier

MarseilletteVide-greniers de l'école

MontréalVide greniers Marché artisanal

QuillanVide-Grenier au profit de SPA

Saint-GaudéricVide grenier à saint gauderic

Saint-Marcel sur AudeVide grenier au profit de l'association princesse ALYCIA

Saint-Pierre-la-MerVide grenier

Sallèles-d'AudeVide greniers d'automne - Association Sallèles Horizon

TreillesVide grenier de Treilles

VilledaigneVide grenier de la rentrée

Villeneuve-la-ComptalVide grenier

Villeneuve-lès-MontréalVide grenier

ArnaveVide greniers d'automne

MazèresVide grenier mensuel

PamiersMarché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-LizierMarché aux Puces, de la cave au grenier






A pun by comedian Darren Walsh has scooped the prize for funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe.

The 39-year-old, whose show Punderbolt is on at the Pleasance, took first place in the vote by TV channel Dave.

The winning joke was: "I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It's Hans free."

Walsh, from Peterborough, who won the first UK Pun Championship last year, said he was delighted. "What a punderful feeling," he said.

It was the eighth year that the joke award has been made. Previous winners include Tim Vine, Stewart Francis, Zoe Lyons and Nick Helm.

This year saw the youngest comedian make the award shortlist, as 12-year-old 'Grace The Child' claimed 10th place.

The top 10 funniest jokes of the Fringe

  1. "I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It's Hans free" - Darren Walsh
  2. "Kim Kardashian is saddled with a huge arse ... but enough about Kanye West" - Stewart Francis
  3. "Surely every car is a people carrier?" - Adam Hess
  4. "What's the difference between a 'hippo' and a 'Zippo'? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter" - Masai Graham
  5. "If I could take just one thing to a desert island I probably wouldn't go" - Dave Green
  6. "Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That's not a miracle. That's tapas" - Mark Nelson
  7. "Red sky at night. Shepherd's delight. Blue sky at night. Day" - Tom Parry
  8. "The first time I met my wife, I knew she was a keeper. She was wearing massive gloves" - Alun Cochrane
  9. "Clowns divorce. Custardy battle" - Simon Munnery
  10. "They're always telling me to live my dreams. But I don't want to be naked in an exam I haven't revised for..." - Grace The Child

The funniest joke was chosen from a shortlist compiled by a panel of judges, who saw an average of 60 shows each at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

The shortlisted gags were then put to 2,000 people, with no reference to the comedians who told them, who then voted for the jokes they found the funniest.

The judges also released a list of jokes which just missed out on the shortlist.

  • "I never lie on my CV…because it creases it." - Jenny Collier
  • "If you don't know what introspection is you need to take a long, hard look at yourself" - Ian Smith
  • "I usually meet my girlfriend at 12:59 because I like that one-to-one time" - Tom Ward
  • "Whenever I get to Edinburgh, I'm reminded of the definition of a gentleman. It's someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn't" - Gyles Brandreth
  • "Let me tell you a little about myself. It's a reflexive pronoun that means 'me'" -Ally Houston
  • "Earlier this year I saw "The Theory of Everything" - loved it. Should've been called "Look Who's Hawking", that's my only criticism" - James Acaster

What's On


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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