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In London there are some supermarkets, well there are a lot more than the one called Whole Foods Market.   It appears that the Amazon Corporation has just bought the worldwide chain of WFM for £10.7bn.  If in London and you haven’t been in one I urge you to do so.   I don’t think Amazon will make them worse.  It is very rare you can buy a bottle of wine to drink in at a Food Court for around £7 and the foods there are as varied as those you will find anywhere, organicky but with humour and each branch is huge.

Did I dream I saw a French President addressing the world in English?  Surely that mean Pres. Macron has made himself another set of enemies.  Personally I found it astoundingly refreshing and indicative that this man has what it takes.

I am intrigued to know how the British government think they can walk away from the table if they can’t get a deal they are happy with from the DUP. 

It seemed like time to have a look at some betting on Paddy Power, you can get 5/4 on Sean Spicer being the next member of the trump administration to resign/get sacked and 500/1 that Trump will ban stairs or Irish people during his first term.   Surely a second can’t be a possibility?

I thought there may have been some odds on potentials for the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, maybe they have run out of people safe enough to Sir or Dame??  All will be revealed tomorrow, how about Sir Rob Brydon? Or Lord Connolly of Govan?





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Lost in France


The views expressed here are those of the writer and not of Steve.



‘A man must go through the fire before he write his masterpiece. We learn in suffering what we teach in song. What we lose on the swings, we make up on the roundabouts’. P.G. Wodehouse

I didn’t set out to compare the NHS with the French health system, but that’s what I ended up doing.

I’d been to the doctor in France, you know, phone up, make an appointment, turn up and wait for a while, maybe 15 to 20 mins after your allotted time before you go through.  I ask the doctor a question, which I had prepared in advance, knew it was phrased correctly and asked it.  The response was to examine me (which was OK), tell me I needed antibiotics and an antiseptic lotion.  I took the prescription for antibiotics but refused the antiseptic.  Neither of them were strictly necessary. A month previously I had a course of drugs and used the antiseptic lotion.   All I had asked for was to see if everything was going in the right direction – healing.  The doctor didn’t answer the question.

As I was going to UK I thought I would do the same procedure with my local GP.  Here you go to the surgery before 9.00 a.m., take a numbered card and wait for the surgery to open.  Once inside people are called numerically according to the number they took earlier and given a time slot for an appointment.  Mine was at 12.30.  I go away and come back for 12.30 and at that point I go through the same process as in France, wait 15 to 20 mins to see the doctor - three lots of waiting  I ask the same question to the GP and am told it will take 2 – 3 months for healing to be complete.  The doctor answered the question.

So there you go; not much waiting but unnecessary drugs and no answer from one, lots of waiting, no drugs but an answer from the other - swings and roundabouts.









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Smoothing out the bumps of market volatility


In today’s environment of very low interest rates, is it wise to leave more than “your rainy day fund” sitting in the bank, probably earning way less in interest than the current rate of inflation, particularly after the taxman has had his cut.....?


In the above scenario, the real value of your capital is reducing, due to the depreciating effect on your capital of inflation. So, if you are relying on your capital to grow sufficiently to help fund your retirement or meet a specific financial goal, then you should be looking for an alternative home for your cash that will, at the very least, keep pace with inflation and thus protect the real value of your capital.


In order to achieve a better return than a cash deposit, by necessity, there is a need to take some risk. The big question is – how much risk should be taken? In reality, this can only be decided as part of a detailed discussion with the investor, which takes into account their time horizon for investment, their requirement for income and/or capital growth, as well as how comfortable they feel about short-term volatility over the period of investment.


Although inevitable, and perhaps arguably a necessity for successful investment management, it is often the volatility of an investment portfolio that can cause some people the most discomfort. Volatility often creates anxiety particularly for investors who need a regular income from their portfolio, and for this reason some people would choose to leave capital in the bank, depreciating in value, rather than have the worry of market volatility. However, this is very unlikely to meet your needs.


There is an alternative, which is to have a well-diversified investment portfolio that provides a smoothed return by ironing out the peaks and troughs of the short-term market volatility. Many of our clients find that this is a very attractive proposition.


What is a smoothed fund?


A smoothed fund aims to grow your money over the medium to long term, whilst protecting you from the short-term ups and downs of investment markets.


There are a number of funds available with differing risk profiles, to suit all investors. The funds are invested in very diversified multi-asset portfolios made up of international shares, property, fixed interest and other investments.


The smoothed funds are available in different of currencies, including Sterling, Euro and USD. Thus, if exchanging from Sterling to Euros at this time is a concern for you, an investment can be made initially in Sterling and then exchanged to Euros when you are more comfortable with the exchange rate. All of this is done within the investment and so does not create any French tax issues for you.


As a client of the Spectrum IFA Group, this type of fund can be invested within a French compliant international life assurance bond and thus is eligible for the same very attractive personal tax benefits associated with Assurance Vie, as well as French inheritance tax mitigation.


Stop Press!!! Since writing this article the UK Election has taken place resulting in a hung parliament that brings with it more political uncertainty, but also the possibility of a softer Brexit or even a second election. This makes for a testing time for investment managers and the option of a smoothed investment ever more attractive.


For more information on this type of investment and/or if you would like to have a confidential discussion about your financial situation, you can contact me by e-mail at or by telephone on 04 67 24 90 95.


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

spectnewfootEmail:;  Website:

Forum:      Local Association No : W112000594



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 Time on your hands?


Reliable person required to look after 3 bed holiday rental in Carcassonne. Requires a few meet and greets followed by laundry and cleaning for changeover. Will need to speak English as my French is poor.

Contact Kieran on 00447711084363 or




 Villelongue hires to edit







meteo ciel3




Come and ride with us!

One in three people in the western world will suffer from some kind of cancer in their lifetime. Cancer and its treatment is difficult enough in your own country but in a new land and in a strange language it can be very, very, complex indeed.

In 2002, Cancer Support France (CSF) was set-up to help people in exactly that situation, offering both emotional and practical help. Now, with a vast pool of knowledge and resources at their disposal, it helps thousands of people across the country.

To raise awareness and funds for the charity and to support the fantastic and challenging work that they do for English speakers in France, CSF holds an annual event, ‘Cycle For Life’, and this year it is being held to celebrate the legacy and memory of the CSF Founder Linda Shepherd who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the charity and who sadly died of cancer in March 2017.

The ‘Cycle For Life’ ride will take place on June 22 to 25 starting in the Medieval city of Carcassonne and ending - with much celebration - at the coastal town of Sète, via the Canal du Midi, the Canal de la Robine and along a beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coast.

It is not a race and everyone can take it at their own pace and do as few or as many days as they would like.  The whole route is 200km but there are four stages of 50km, 40km, 50km and 60km and you can start at any one of them. It is all low-level, suitable for novice cyclists, and families and riders of all ages are welcomed.

‘Vie and Velo’ cycle tour company can offer help with bike hire, bike transport or booking accommodation.  Denise from ‘Vie et Velo” says “We are very excited to be supporting ‘Cycle for Life’ this year as it not only benefits a great cause, but highlights some of the fabulous cycling to be had in the Languedoc. We expect it will be a great event for cycling enthusiasts of all levels“. 

So, come and join us in a gentle meander through beautiful French countryside in the sunshine, sharing wonderful lunch stops, and enjoy the fun, food and of course wine! It is free to take part and you can raise money, if you wish, by asking people to sponsor you or to make a donation on Details of the ride are on and with a month to go, it is not too late to take part.

Sponsors include Freewheeling France, LaFranglaiseWeb, Renestance and VideoProFrance.



 csf june 17 booksale

BTP long banner700x100


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


Samedi 17 Juin

Coursan  Vide grenier

Durban-Corbières  Vide grenier

Montréal  Vide grenier trésors caches

Tournissan  Vide grenier

Ussat  Vide grenier

Dimanche 18 Juin

Bize-Minervois  Vide grenier

Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante

Couiza  Vide grenier

Coursan  Vide grenier

Cuxac-Cabardès  Vide grenier brocante

Cuxac-d’Aude  Vide grenier

Espéraza  Vide grenier

Gruissan  Vide grenier

Leucate-Plage  Tante Marie vide ses greniers

Limoux  Vide grenier Flassian

Montredon-des-Corbières  Vide grenier

Narbonne-Plage  Vide grenier

Narbonne  Vide grenier

Palaja  Vide grenier

Pennautier  Vide grenier

Pépieux  Vide grenier

Pezens  Vide grenier

Quillan  Vide grenier chats libres

Saint-Laurent-de-la-Cabrerisse  Vide grenier des Pompiers

Villardonnel  Vide grenier de la musique

Campagne-sur-Arize  Vide grenier

Castillon-en-Couserans  Vide grenier

Foix  Vide Atelier Artisanal

Luzenac  Vide grenier

Pamiers  Vide grenier brocante Place de la Republique

Pamiers  Vide grenier

Saint-Girons  Les puces du champ de mars

Varilhes  Vide grenier sur la D624


Samedi 24 Juin

Coursan  Vide grenier

Moussan  Vide grenier

Saverdun  Vide grenier marche

Siguer  Vide grenier

Dimanche 25 Juin

Alairac  Vide grenier

Alzonne  Grand vide grenier de la pêche

Brugairolles  Vide grenier

Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante

Castelnaudary  Vide grenier brocante

Coursan  Vide grenier

Laserre de Brenac  Vide grenier

Marseillette  Vide grenier

Montolieu  Vide grenier Club des Retraités

Narbonne  Vide grenier

Paraza  Bourse aux armes anciennes et militaires

Puicheric  Vide grenier

Roquefort-des-Corbières  Vide grenier

Saint-Pierre-la-Mer  Vide grenier

Sallèles-d’Aude  Vide grenier

Salles-d’Aude  Vide grenier des pompiers

Trèbes  Vide grenier

Villepinte  Vide grenier

Banat  Vide grenier

Besset  Vide grenier

Garanou  Vide grenier

La Bastide-sur-l’Hers  Vide grenier

Le Mas-d’Azil  Vide grenier de l’école

Pamiers  Vide grenier brocante

Varilhes  Vide grenier brocante



 benny  Jim CareyVernissage 10 Juin 18hExpo du 10 Juin au 15 Juillet 2017 1





 els summer

What's On 



XAVIER RUDD 18 June Bikini Toulouse


BEJART BALLET 9 July Carcassonne Festival

MORCHEEBA- KEZIAH JONES 16 July Carcassonne Festival

TRUST - EUROPE 21 July Carcassonne Festival

BRYAN FERRY 23 July Carcassonne Festival

PIXIES 27 July Carcassonne Festival

TY SEAGALL 30 August Bikini Toulouse

SATYRICON 2 October Metronum Toulouse

BETH DITTO 3 October Bikini Toulouse

ANGUS & JULIA STONE  20 oct Zenith Toulouse



TRUST 21 Nov Bikini Toulouse

JAMIROQUAI 22 Nov Zenith Toulouse

INDOCHINE 9 March Zenith Toulouse

BODYGAURD 9/10 June Zenith Toulouse





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