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If you are that way inclined you should be getting the flags out this week, the Queen’s 90th on Thursday and St George’s Day next Monday.

That’s probably a good gesture from the Pope, taking home some Syrians, I presume they had been heavily screened.

It all went quiet on the topic of Russian jets buzzing US ships, maybe they consider if it isn’t publicised he might not do it again?

Still nothing much to report in the way of live shows in the region apart from some festival activity.

But something is keeping Elton touring, I don’t think he’s done so many shows in a year as this, maybe it’s the kids screaming?

They are choosing a new secretary general to the UN, and the strange thing is that unless I am mistaken eight of them look like they come from bits of old Yugoslavia with the ninth candidate being Helen Clark former Prime Minister of New Zealand.  Others may join the fray apparently, have we been allowed to see this selection process before?

You have another two weeks to enter the competition to win Mr Inman’s fine book ' A Guide to Mystical France'. 


If you check the website in 24 hours i should have updated "whats on" 


 Does anyone feel they have enough knowledge and time to takeover the gardening feature on a regualr basis? email me if you are interested







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Lost in France



It is remarkable how different the behaviour of car-drivers and bikers here in Aude is from that of similar road users in the UK.  In the UK and I guess particularly in London where I used a motorbike to both commute and to earn a living as a despatch rider, car drivers either have a change of personality once they get behind a wheel or they really do want to kill you and if not kill you, to make your life on a bike as difficult as possible.

Drivers will see you in their rear-view mirror and if there are queues of traffic with room for a bike to pass they will consciously move over so that your way is blocked.  They will intimidate you by pulling up close behind you at junctions or traffic lights.  They will selectively not see you (referencing the TV advert ‘Think Bike’ here) as they pull out of a side road into the on-coming traffic, at the head of which is you.  They will under-take you and then pull right in front of you.  And then when they have wound you up enough for you to give chase (which unfortunately I’ve been angry enough to do), they will pull in, lock their doors and reach for a handy tyre iron which they already have in their car because previous experience must have told them that this is often the consequence of their actions.  You may get off your bike to remonstrate but they cower behind the wheel and the metal in their hand.  Taxis will intimidate you and try to nudge you out of position.  You may have witnessed bikers riding past cars and knocking off a wing mirror or two, now you know why.  The drivers didn’t use them anyway.

Compare that to here in France.  Car drivers who see you in their rear-view mirror will consciously move out of your way to let you pass!  Other bikers, and it is irrelevant if the bike you are riding is the same breed as theirs or not, they will always without fail acknowledge you.  I’m not saying bikers in the UK don’t do something similar but it is not as consistent.  It took me a while to work out what the two-fingered (no, not that one) salute on an extended lowered left arm meant, but after enough of them I realised.  It makes a ride out just that much more pleasant.









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Known Unknowns

Individual investors may face many “known unknowns”—that is to say, things that they know they don’t know. The UK’s referendum on EU membership is one of them, confronting people with a large degree of uncertainty. But as we’re witnessing, it’s not just the investor that’s afflicted by this Known Unknown condition – the markets are really uncomfortable as evidenced by the fall in the value of the pound.


We have though been here before; perhaps not having to make decisions that could affect our financial stability for years to come, but as the chart below shows, major global events that have impacted on our lives to a greater or lesser effect. Through all of them, the markets have shown a remarkable resilience over the longer term and that is one of the most important lessons the individual investor can learn.


You see, it’s not necessary to “make the right call” on the referendum or its consequences to be a successful investor. Our approach is to trust the market to price securities fairly; to take account of broad expectations of future returns. 


In arguing for the status quo, the “remain” campaign is able to point out familiar characteristics of membership.


The “out” campaign, however, is based on intangibles that can only be resolved after the result of the referendum is known. It is impossible for any individual to predict the implications of these unknowns with certainty.


But this is no cause for concern. While the referendum is imminent and its implications are potentially vast and unpredictable, it is not necessary for individual investors to make any judgement calls on the outcome. We have faced many uncertainties in the past—general elections, market crises, recessions, wars—and throughout all of them, the market has done its job of aggregating participants’ views about expected returns and priced assets accordingly.


And while these events have caused uncertainty, volatility and short-term losses and gains, none of them has altered the expectation that stocks provide a good long-term return in real terms.


We have a global view of investing, and we know that the market is very good at processing information that is relevant to future returns. Because of this view, we don’t attempt to second-guess the market. We manage well-diversified portfolios that do not rely on the outcome of individual events or decisions to target the expected long-term return.

These events are not offered to explain market returns. Instead, they serve as a reminder that investors should view daily events from a long-term perspective and avoid making investment decisions based solely on the news. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. MSCI data © MSCI 2016, all rights reserved.


Research has demonstrated time and again that the best returns are achieved through ‘Time in the Market’ and not by trying to ‘Time the Market’; in other words, stay invested rather than guess the best time to invest and disinvest.   


If you would like more information on our investment philosophy, ring for an appointment or take advantage of our Friday Morning Drop-in Clinic, here at our office in Limoux. And don’t forget, there is no charge for these meetings.



See you soon.

Derek Winsland

Chartered Financial Planner

Mobile: 0771 71 95 52


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A Guide to Mystical France  

Mystical Sites in the Aude and Ariège

Nick Inman


While I was writing my book, A Guide to Mystical France, I found the southwest to be particularly rich in sites to mention. Here is a selection of my favourite places to visit in the departments of Aude and Ariège  – and just beyond their borders.








Alet-les-Bains. (South of Limoux). At the centre of this small town off the main road up the Aude valley are the atmospheric ruins of a medieval abbey. There is not much too them but they are still worth wandering around to see if you can imagine what life was like for the monks before the Wars of Religion in the 16th century destroyed everything. The windows of the adjoining church have unusual tracery forming the Star of David.

   Dolmen de Fades (North of Pépieux, southwest of Minerve). There are an extraordinary number of megalithic monuments in France. The most famous are in Brittany but there are plenty in the southwest if you look for them. This one, dating from 3500 BC, is particularly pleasing. It is an extremely large dolmen in a beautiful and peaceful setting on top of a low hill beneath pine trees.

     Grotte de Niaux (Ariège, near Tarascon). There is no experience quite like visiting a cave painted by prehistoric people and this is one of my favourites. To see the paintings you have to walk a long way underground, carrying the torch and keeping up with the guide. Fortunately,

the cave hasn’t been equipped for visitors. There are no concrete paths or electric lights. The reward is seeing extraordinary artwork crated 15,000 years ago.

     Montségur The castle above the village is the site of the last stand of the beleaguered Cathars. There is nothing to see on the summit but walls and great views but it is worth the walk nevertheless just to feel the character of the place. When a lengthy siege ended in 1244 over 200 Cathars preferred to be burned alive rather than renounce their faith. Park on the approach road from Lavelenet and Foix. The ticket booth is half way up the slope. Wear a hat and take water.

    Pont du Diable, Montoulieu (south of Foix, signposted from the main road, not the motorway). There are around 50 structures called “the Devil’s Bridge” around France, the implication being that any ingenious looking structure over a river must be the work of a superhuman engineer. This one was built in the 19th century (by humans, as far as we know) and is easily accessible by foot from the nearest road.

     Raynaude (Off the D119 near Mas d’Azil). In the late 19th century, an enterprising local priest decided to built a series of stations of the cross climbing the hillside behind the church. According to a local story, he ran out of money but in 1892 John D Rockefeller happened to be passing and he provided the funds to finish the work.

     Rennes-le-Château. (near Couiza). In the 1980s, when I first came here, there was an aura of mystery about this hilltop town because of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (which provided inspiration for Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code). Since then a series of authors and film makers have gone about deliberately debunking the claims that there is any mystery at all. Whatever the truth, Rennes-le Chateau is an intriguing place to visit. A local heritage association has produced an excellent colour booklet explaining everything.

    Rieux Minervois. (Northeast of Carcassonne) Most churches are rectangular or cross-shaped, with the altar located at the eastern end. This church is highly unusually in that it is “round” (actually 7-sided). There are some spectacular Romanesque carvings on the capitals of the columns.

     Vals (Between Mirepoix and Pamiers) The village church here is joined to the rock and the lower parts make use of natural underground chambers. In addition, there are some beautiful paintings on one of the ceilings. It can be visited at any time you please and, being out of the way, you may well get it all to yourself which is the only want to get a sense of the atmosphere.

     Villerouge-Termenès (in the Corbières). Several places in the region claim to have a Cathar connection and in most cases it is slender. It was here, in this small village around a castle, that the last Cathar perfect, Guillaume Bélibaste, was burnt at the stake in 1321. The place is well looked after by the local council making it a beautiful and peaceful place to visit.



      The Flyer has two copies of A Guide to Mystical France to give away to answer the following question correctly.

Nick Inman writes: “I was going to include another abbey church in this list. It is in the Aude near one of the places that did make it on to my list. The apse is 11th-century Romanesque; but what is special about this church is that beneath it is an 8th-century Carolingian crypt.” Which church is he talking about?

A Guide to Mystical France: Secrets, Mysteries, Sacred Sites by Nick Inman is published by Findhorn Press (ISBN 978-1-84409-685-5). It is available from Amazon and all bookshops. For more information see and









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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 23 Avril


Argeliers Exposition ventes de brocantes

Coursan Vide grenier

Lézignan-Corbières Vide Grenier la fleur des îles

Limoux Salon antiquités brocante

Saverdun Vide grenier et marché aux puces

VarilhesVide grenier brocante

Varilhes Bourse à l’auto et moto


Dimanche 24 Avril


Argeliers Exposition ventes de brocantes

Barbaira Vide Dressing

Carcassonne Vide Grenier brocante

Coursan Vide Grenier

Cuxac-d’Aude Vide Grenier Association Patrimoine Cuxanais

Gruissan Vide Grenier

Limoux Salon antiquités brocante

Marcorignan Vide Grenier et Vide Maison aux profits animaux

Narbonne Vide Grenier de printemps

Névian Vide Grenier de printemps

Pauligne Vide Grenier

Quillan Premier Vide Grenier de l’association les PEB

Rieux-Minervois Vide Grenier

Saint-Marcel sur Aude Vide Grenier

Sigean Vide Grenier et Bourse Moto

Foix Vide Grenier

Pamiers Vide Grenier brocante

VarilhesVide grenier brocante


Jeudi 28 Avril 

Argeliers Exposition ventes de brocantes

Samedi 30 Avril

Argeliers Exposition ventes de brocantes

Coursan Vide Grenier

Lézignan-Corbières Vide Grenier la fleur des îles

Quillan 10ème Festival des Fleurs et Vide Grenier




Foix Vide Grenier

Saverdun Vide grenier et marché aux puces

VarilhesVide grenier brocante

Varilhes Bourse à l’auto et moto

Dimanche 1 Mai

Bize-Minervois Vide Grenier

Carcassonne Vide Grenier brocate

Coursan Vide Grenier

Cruscades Vide Grenier du Muget

Espéraza Vide Grenier Associatif

Gaja-et-Villedieu Vide Grenier

Greffeil Vide Grenier du 1er Mai

Limoux Brocante la menseuelle le 1er dimanche chaque mois

Molleville Vide Grenier

Montlegun Grand Vide Grenier du 1er Mai École de Cirque

Narbonne Vide Grenier Spécial 1er Mai

Pomas Vide Grenier

Ribouisse 3ième Grand Marché aux fleurs de printemps

Saint-Michel-de-Lanès  Vide Dressing

Sigean Vide Grenier brocante

Trèbes Vide Grenier

Ventenac-Cabardes Bourse aux vêtements, jouets…

Villedaigne Vide Grenier et marché artisanal

Villemoustaussou Vide Grenier

Vinassan Vide Grenier et marché artisanal

Gajan Vide Grenier de printemps

Laroque-d’Olmes Vide Grenier du 1er Mai

Le Fossat Vide Grenier

Ludiès Vide Grenier

Mazères Grand Vide Grenier

Nalzen Vide Grenier

Pamiers Vide Grenier brocante

Saint-Lizier Marché aux puces de la cave au grenier

Varilhes Vide Grenier (two of them different locations)














What's On

THE WHO 14 June Zenith Toulouse

NEIL YOUNG 21 June Zenith Toulouse

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL 22 to 26 Nov Zenith Toulouse


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