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It's now time to beware of those processionary caterpillars again. The caterpillars have orange brown backs with bluish grey bands and bluish grey protrusions in pairs at each segment, these protrusions have little bunches of hairs “growing” from them and it is the “hairs” that can be a danger. These irritant hairs contain a highly allergenic protein which in humans can cause reactions ranging from mild itching to anaphylactic shock, all contact with sensitive skin regions, your mouth, nose or eyes should be avoided. Be careful with your animals and dogs in particular may sniff them which should be avoided at all costs. If they eat them the dogs and other domestic animals may get necrosis or a greying  of the tongue and severe swelling may occur causing breathing difficulties.


Did I dream it or was there a recent documentary on the BBC maybe even a Panorama that basically explained how most of the wealth of Russia is in the pocket of Mr Putin? It was suggested to me that perhaps he's adding to his fortune by calling his mate President Assad of Syria saying that he can help destroy Bashar’s enemies?  Could the agreement just be based on a large sum of money per kilo of bombs dropped (explaining why there is no need for accuracy)?  Payments made to the Russian military budget direct from Assad’s cash hidden in Russian and various banks around the world?  The result is millions more refugees head to Europe which destabilises the territory that created sanctions against Russia, his military manage to get some target practice and use up some out of  date ordnance  and everyone in Russia thinks he’s Mr cuddly power bear

Win, win, win for VP. Allegedly


below you will see an ad for a booksale just before sending this  i noticed the date appears to be wrong, it must be tomorrow

so make sure you make it and support the cause and get yourself some dark evening reading






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




Lost in France


It started with the bike as it quite often does in these little rants.  The bike was fixed so on a nice clear day I went for a ride out.  On my way back I met an acquaintance from the village cycling towards me.  I stopped to greet him and he told me his bike wasn’t working as there was something wrong with the battery so I lent him mine.  We both went out for a ride together and then to repay me he came round with a few beers, we sat in the barn, talked bikes for a while and then the conversation moved on. 

I mentioned we’d like to get some water in the barn but that would probably increase the tax.  He works for the tax authority and he clarified a few things.  He said currently as our barn was being used as a garage and a bike workshop it was still virtually classed as agricultural, which all the barns along our road are.  If we changed anything in the slightest e.g. added a sofa, a fire etc. the tax bracket would change. 

At any point the mayor has permission to come into our barn and even our house and see what changes we have made and whether we had official permission to make those changes or had given that information to the tax authorities so that we were paying the correct amount in taxe d’habitation.  That’s the down-side of making changes to a property, the up-side is that in return we can make the same request to him and ask to see inside his property.

Before we moved to France we had been told that the French weren’t very friendly and didn’t often invite you into their houses.  My friend now told me that this was because they didn’t want you to see any changes they may have made to the interior of their property as you may be a grass for the tax authorities.  There appears to be one in every village, and no-one knows who it is, so it could be him or me!  Another neighbour verified this by saying that this attitude of grassing all stemmed from the war when neighbours denounced neighbours to the occupying Nazis either for malicious reasons or just because they could….

Could it really be true, that behaviour learned and practised during the years of occupation would still be influencing behaviour today?  And do a lot of old houses look semi-derelict even though someone lives in them, just so no one can accuse them of not paying the correct tax?








 lenetwork  Local press ad






Email:;  Website:

Forum:      Local Association No : W112000594





Looks like we made it …….





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Out with the old and in with the new

“Out with the old and in with the new” - No this is not a reference to Rob Hesketh departing the scene (which he isn’t, he remains a very important part of the Spectrum operation here in Limoux). Rather it relates to my decision, after 20 plus years at the coal-face of UK Financial Services, to sell up and move lock, stock and barrel to this beautiful part of France.

So far the move has gone well, apart from one or two hiccups that should be expected. But I’ve been grateful for the help and support I have been given by colleagues and the wider ex-pat community who have been generous in sharing their experiences of moving here and the pitfalls to avoid. It has also enabled my fiancée and I to bring forward our wedding plans and so we return to the UK to the beautiful City of Chester to tie the knot at the end of this month.

As both Sue and I have been married before, the more acerbic reader may observe that this is another case of “out with the old, in with the new”!

“Out with the old, in with the new” also refers to Spectrum’s decision to open an office here in Limoux. This is the first office Spectrum has formally established in rural France (up until now Rob and Daphne and all the other Spectrum IFA’s in the area have worked from their homes or other informal locations), so for the company to select this area for its first venture of this kind is testimony to the brilliant work both Rob and Daphne have done over many years. Both Rob and Daphne have now decided they’d like to ease down a bit, and this explains my introduction to this area.  

It’s worth noting that The Spectrum IFA Group already have offices in major cities like Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Rome and now Limoux joins that illustrious list!

We’ve taken on an office manager, Jaime Donkin, who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the office – the office is open Tuesday-Thursday 09.30-12.00 and 14.00-16.00 and Friday 09.30-16.00.

Another change is the introduction of a new service we are offering of a Friday Clinic. As you will no doubt know, Friday is market day here in Limoux, so I will be here to answer any questions you may have; you don’t need to make an appointment, just drop-in on any Friday morning and I’ll endeavour to assist. If you’re making a special journey, you can also ring in to the office and we’ll set aside a half hour appointment if you prefer, the office number is 0468 31 14 10.

The choice of office location couldn’t be more appropriate either, situated as it is between the bank and the tax office! We like to think we offer an essential buffer between your money flowing out of your bank account and in to the taxman’s – to find out how, pay us a visit on any Friday morning or alternatively ring for an appointment, which could either be in our office or at your home. 

This is the start of exciting times, not only for me, but for all of us in Limoux and the wider Spectrum community, and we hope to share some of those experiences with you in future articles.

Derek Winsland

Chartered Financial Planner

Mobile: 0771 71 95 52


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Aude Flyer Menus 2016 2 copy










 cascade ad

Carolyn Knight new ad














meteo ciel3






Bridge problem


You are in four spades and they lead the Queen of clubs which you duck. They continue clubs and you eventually ruff. What could go wrong now?



K 5 4

5 4 3


K 3 2


Your hand

A Q 7 3 2

A K 8 7

5 4

5 4




You now have ten tricks but you must be careful if trumps break 4/1 as, if you leave a trump out, the defence may be able to cut you off from your diamond winners. Cash the Ace and Queen of spades. If trumps break, then cross to the King and take your tricks. If the trumps break 4/1, play your diamonds, allowing the ruff, then win the return and draw the last trump ending in Dummy to enjoy the remaining diamonds.




Lizzie Godfrey






We have had an incredibly mild winter, certainly the mildest in the seventeen years that I have been in the Languedoc.  Abutilon megapotamicum has been in flower non-stop throughout the winter, the foliage on Ipomea learii (perennial Morning Glory) has hardly been frosted and Plumbago capensis (which normally acts like a herbaceous perennial for me) still has last summers long whippy growths in full health.  Of course, we could still get a cold spell but as we get towards the end of February it is time to  start to cut back sub-shrubby prennials such as gauras, perovskias, Salvia microphylla cultivars etc.  Warm season grasses such as Miscanthus and Pennisetum can also be cut hard back, as can summer flowering clematis like the viticella cultivars.  In general, this is also the time to be pruning roses.  If possible, shred all your prunings and add them to your compost heap or use them as organic mulch. 

With the mild weather there is much more in flower in the garden than I normally expect in mid/late February.  Grevillea is a varied genus of plants which are nearly all natives of Australia.  Many are not winter hardy here in the Languedoc but two very reliable grevilleas are just coming into flower here; the rather prickly leaved Grevillea juniperina and the softer foliaged Grevillea rosmarinifolia are both evergreen shrubs that will grow to about 1m50 and have unusual red flowers in February & March.  They like a dry, sunny position and are very attractive to bees.

Another shrub which is also just coming into flower is Garrya elliptica James Roof, sometimes known as Silk Tassel.  It is an evergreen which will grow up to 2 metres or more and has lovely yellow catkins in February & March.  This also likes a sunny position and is drought tolerant.  Garrya is quite well known in Britain and, since it is native to a Mediterranean climate area, I am surprised that it isn't grown more frequently in Mediterranean France.

For plant queries etc contact Gill Pound, 21, avenue de la Montagne Noire, 11160 Caunes-Minervois, phone 04 68 78 43 81 or email



 fetes aude autumn





















 readers write




In response to your "Bonjour" question...The reason no one in the building shoots the attacker is one has a gun because it is A NO GUN ZONE (and is so marked,)with which, of course, the attacker complies...NOT.   If you have read any U. S. history, you might remember the Volstead Act, commonly referred to as Prohibition.  This Constitutional Amendment was going to make the U. S. a utopia as all alcohol was illegal and alcoholics would become useful, God-fearing citizens and no on would be subjected to the temptation and evils of alcohol. Suffice it to say, it did the opposite by creating a criminal element that did not previously exist, both those who manufactured and those who consumed alcohol.  Prohibition was responsible for creating more alcoholics that alleviating them.

Currently, the U. S. is going through another phase of stupidity, attempting to ban firearms,  although our Constitution gives us the RIGHT to own them.  We do not seem to learn from our historical mistakes.  Hopefully, the American people will wake up in time to prevent another massive mistake like Prohibition, where only the criminal will have access to the outlawed item.  As has been said, and as great Britain, France, and the rest of Europe has shown, "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun".

The cowards that perpetrate these travesties PICK PLACES WHERE THEY KNOW THERE ARE NO GUNS - theaters, churches, schools, colleges - and they know there are no guns there because, prominently displayed on all doors are "Firearms Prohibited" signs.  Cowards like defenseless people.  As soon as the left-wing liberal cowards get it through their feeble minds that terrorists and criminals don't give a damn about any sign and permit anyone who can legally carry a firearm, and wishes to do so, carry one, the cowards will sink back into the mire from whence they came.  AND , no, it will not be carnage like the "Old West" as the "Old West" of the cinema did not exist except in the mindlessness of Hollywood and as a studio head once remarked, "Since when has Hollywood been concerned with reality.".

Hi Steve

I fully support the campaign to keep Beziers and Nimes airports fully operational.

However for the hundreds of thousands of us who regularly use Carcassonne airport we are very concerned at the risk of losing services from there. It is halfway between Toulouse and Beziers and must be in danger of being dropped from Ryanair's schedules if they are developing their services elsewhere.

I think Carcassonne should also be included in the petition.








Hi Steve,

Chandeleur (always Feb 2nd) and Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) aren’t the same thing,





I think this petition could be worth signing


Mike Grayson



The Aude Shanty Men are seeking new members
The Aude Shanty Men are a popular and fun loving group.

Our members live in the Aude and Ariege.

If you enjoy singing and having fun over a glass of wine or similar, if you can sing with enthusiasm rather than perfect pitch and are happy to practice regularly and possibly sing in public from time to time, please get in touch.

Please email -





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 20 Février

Coursan Vide Grenier

Lézignan-Corbières Vide grenier, brocante

Saverdun Vide grenier

VarilhesVide grenier brocante

Varilhes Bourse à l’auto et moto

Dimanche 21 Février

Azille Vide Grenier des cyclos

Bram Vide Grenier

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Couiza Vide dressing

Coursan Vide grenier

Lézignan-Corbières Vide Grenier, brocante

Narbonne Vide Grenier et Vide Maison aux profits des animaux

Pamiers Marches et puces et à la brocantes

VarilhesVide grenier brocante

Samedi 27 Février

Coursan Vide Grenier

Lézignan-Corbières Vide grenier, brocante

Lézignan-Corbières Bourse aux livres du Rotary Club

VarilhesVide grenier brocante

Varilhes Bourse à l’auto et moto

Dimanche 28 Février

Alzonne Vide dressing, jouet et puériculture

Azille Vide Grenier des cyclos

Bram Vide Grenier

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante


Couiza Vide dressing

Coursan Vide grenier

Labécède-Lauragais Puce des couturières

Lézignan-Corbières Vide Grenier, brocante

Lézignan-Corbières Bourse aux livres du Rotary Club

Villesequelande Vide dressing

Pamiers Marches et puces et à la brocantes

VarilhesVide grenier brocante

Samedi 5 Mars

Alet-les-Bains Vide Grenier L’Association Jeunesse Alétoise

Coursan Vide grenier

Lézignan-Corbières Vide Grenier, brocante

Saverdun Vide grenier

VarilhesVide grenier brocante

Varilhes Bourse à l’auto et moto

Dimanche 6 Mars

Capendu Vide dressing FC Alaric feminine

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Coursan Vide grenier

Lézignan-Corbières Vide Grenier, brocante

Limoux Brocante la mensuelle

Narbonne Vide Grenier

Roubia Vide dressing

Salles-d’Aude Vide Grenier du Tennis de Table

Mazères Vide Grenier mensuel

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Saint-Lizier Marché aux puces, de la cave au grenier

VarilhesVide grenier brocante 














What's On

Well there doesnt seem to be much on, Neil Young in June and Cirque du Soleil in November

i hope to bring you further news of exciting events soon


UB40 12 April Casino 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