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Have you been consumed by the start of the sales? It took me years to realise that the dates and lengths of shop “sales” are government controlled. The winter sales which started today at 8am and not a moment before (I presume after is permissible) will last for a maximum of 5 weeks. This year that will take them to February 13th.  And they always start on the 2nd Wednesday of January unless the second Wednesday is the Jan 12th or after in which case it becomes the first Wednesday. There are a few national anomalies. Other than that its really simple and its actually supposed to be for retailers to clear overstocks, I am not sure it’s been like that in the “old country” for many a decade.

People returning to France from a Christmas stay in the UK have been amazed, yet again, by the customer service they received in the UK.  And as silly as it seems when George W. Bush said that the French didn’t have a word for ‘entrepreneur’  which I guess they do really but just don’t use all that much, they also don’t have a word for ‘customer service’.  I could be wrong.

Jessops in the UK  is going into administration and Virgin megastores in France are finally admitting the prospect of insolvency seems no more surprising than the passing of Patrick Moore or Clive Dunn at the end of last year.  All of them from a different age.  France’s Minister of Culture Aurelie Filipetti is having meetings with management and union reps to try to keep the firm alive.  But as Fnac gave up trying to compete with iTunes on downloads at the end of 2012, they must surely see the writing on the wall. Yes I know there are laws on the price of books in France, but with the size of stores they have, once you remove sales of CDs, DVDs and electronic hardware, even with the fixed book price regime it is only a matter of time before they fail and the majority of the sales will be dealt with by Ontail (online sales). That’s retail and wholesale and I thought it was time for a snappier title for it, go on start using it, so let’s see if we can get it to catch on.

Hugo Chavez must be rather annoying the medical profession in Venezuela by having his treatment in Cuba?  How come the New Delhi rape victim was sent to Singapore for treatment? And the Pakistani schoolgirl and women’s rights campaigner shot in the face by a Taliban gunman was treated in Birmingham by the InterNational Health Service,  surely each of these countries could guarantee the safety of these patients and would have centres of excellence to treat their patients?

Start looking for your snow chains in the garage as there appears to be a an arctic blast due from about Tuesday of next week, winter draws on.  Yes, I know but I do try to use it once a year.

Hillary Clinton is back at work after being off due to a blood clot between her skull and  brain.   Her return seems very soon for such a serious condition?  If the next secretary of state, Sen. John Kerry, is anything like her, he can expect to rack up some major frequent-flier miles. Which means he’ll need to master the art of avoiding jet lag.  Kerry offers his tips in the latest issue of Men’s Health magazine:

“I can’t say my past experiments with jet lag remedies have been very scientific,” said Kerry. “When I’m flying, I usually take an Ambien and listen to one of my own speeches on my iPod. I’m out in seconds. But it doesn’t always work, and sometimes you’ll have some funny moments from being overtired. There was an incident in New Orleans, at Mardi Gras, in 1997. But the video has been destroyed and I gave the beads back.”

Well his sense of humour seems to be OK 

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013.



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French Tax Changes 2013


With another year over and a new one just begun, it would not be January without tax changes in France! In fact, during the period between Christmas and New Year, the Constitutional Council was very busy, approving both the Finance Act 2013 and yet another amendment to last year’s Finance Act. After publication of both texts in the Journal Official de la République Française, each of the bills was enacted into law on 31st December 2012. Earlier in the month, the Social Security budget for 2013 was also passed.

A number of changes originally proposed by the government were rejected or amended by the Constitutional Council. This included the highly debated introduction of an ‘exceptional solidarity contribution’, which would have resulted in a total tax rate of 75% on earnings from professional activities that exceeded €1 million. The proposal was rejected on the grounds of inequality, due to the fact that it would have been levied on an individual basis, rather than at the foyer level that applies for the taxation of income.

The government has vowed to review its proposals, taking into account the comments of the Constitutional Council, with the expectation that a revised proposal will be made during 2013.

The proposed changes to the taxation of gains relating to building land were also rejected by the Constitutional Council. This was done on the grounds that after taking into account all other taxes and the fact that the gains would be taxed according to the barème scale that applies to income (including the new band of 45%), the tax would be punitive. Unfortunately, however, since the article was rejected in its entirety, so too was the proposed discount of 20% for 2013, in respect of  capital gains tax arising on the sale of a maison secondaire.

There were also some changes made to wealth tax, both as concerns the entry level and the income that can be taken into account for determining the global income for the capping mechanism.

Some of the main changes are highlighted below and further information on these changes and others can be found on our website at

  • An additional income tax band of 45% is added to the barème scale, in respect of the fraction of income exceeding €150,000 per part in the household.
  • Income from capital (i.e. interest and dividends) will be taxed in the same way as income from work, i.e. in accordance with the barème scale. However, a ‘fixed levy’ will be deducted at source, at the time that the payment is made, which is 21% for dividends and 24% for bank interest. The levy is considered as an ‘on account’ payment against the income tax due in the following year.
  • The wealth tax entry level remains at €1.3 million and a capping mechanism has been introduced, so that total global taxes of the taxpayer do not exceed 75% of global income.
  • The fixed rate of capital gains tax for financial assets will be replaced by taxation at the progressive rates set out in the barème scale from 2013. However, there will be some reduction applied to the rate depending upon the period that the investor has held the assets.
  • An additional tax has been introduced in respect of gains made from the sale of a maison secondaire (and so does not apply to building land), for cases where the gain exceeds €50,000. The tax – between 2% and 6%, depending upon the amount of the gain - will also payable by non-residents selling a property in France.
  • The tax credit for fiscal niches is now capped at €10,000 in the majority of cases.
  • The social security contributions for Auto-Entrepreneurs have been increased.
  • A new Contribution Additionnelle de Solidarité pour l’Autonomie (CASA) is introduced on pensions. The rate will be 0.3% in respect of pensions paid from 1st April 2013, however, pensioners who are exonerated from income tax will be exonerated from the CASA. In theory, pensioners who are the holders of a Certificate S1, whereby their French health costs are funded by another EU Member State, should not be required to pay the CASA.

So as can be seen from the above, “austerity” is still the name of the game. However, austerity in isolation will not work. In reality, it can only provide a short-term fix to any deficit problems and unless it runs alongside policies for growth, we will continue to experience problems over the long-term.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy 2013.

If you would like more information about how these changes may affect you or about investing on a tax-efficient basis for France (whether for investing an amount of capital and/or saving on a regular basis), or any other aspect of retirement and inheritance planning, please contact me for more information either by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17 or by e-mail at

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees 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




   Want to advertise but cant do the artwork?

Just email and i will try to sort it out, at no extra cost.






So we all ate too much and drank too much and put on a bit of weight over the festive period - and wasn’t it great? Now all we have to do is spend the next 12 months getting ourselves into some sort of shape to do it all again next time with not-too-dire consequences!

It’s not complicated, just make the decision to look after yourself a bit in 2013, do it little by little rather than in one mad January rush and ENJOY the process into the bargain!

Over the next few months, we’ll look at ways in which you can do this by focussing on one area of health at a time – for today, a sneak preview:

 Obtain a healthy weight (and maintaining it)

Tip: If you are SERIOUS about losing weight then keep a food diary for 4 days. We all underestimate what and how much we have eaten and drunk in one day – until you see this in black and white, you won’t have a starting point to attack from!

Look after your back (and other things!)

Tip: Be more aware of your posture – not just when you are standing but also when driving, sitting in front of the computer, television etc. Poor posture can responsible for backache, headaches and general ‘niggles’ that can occur and cause chronic problems.

Keep your circulation in good shape.

Tip: Just MOVE more! Doesn’t have to be ‘exercise’ as such, avoid sitting or being immobile for long periods of time - even if you do exercise regularly, being inactive for long periods still isn’t good for your body – a sludged up body tends not to work as efficiently as it should! Humans are designed to move.

Have a more proactive approach to your health

Tip: Plan to have regular massages – far from being a luxury, this is a ‘maintenance tool’ for health. Tight muscles can be found and dealt with before they cause longer-term problems, the lymph system is stimulated and will provide stronger resistance to bugs etc, postural errors will become more obvious and can then be worked upon by you more effectively. The list goes on!

All the above topics will be expanded upon in forthcoming issues of the Flyer.

In the meantime……. DECIDE what you are going to aim to improve in 2013 and start NOW!!!!

“To change one’s life:
 Start immediately.
 Do it flamboyantly.
 No exceptions.”
William James 1842 -1910 (author and psychologist)

Pat Penny - Health and Fitness Specialist,  Massage Therapist
European Register of Exercise Professionals

‘Over The Hill’ Walking Clubs






A Tidy Home… A Tidy Mind

New Year resolutions come and go but with a new year comes time to clear out the old stuff and start the year with a new clear space in your house as well as in your head.

Everything you don’t want has a value to someone somewhere and bearing in mind the experiences of previous flyer readers who have advertised their unwanted stuff in the flyer… there is always someone ready to take stuff of your hands.  So now is the perfect time to get rid of all the unwanted presents, clothes you will never wear again but just don’t seem to be able to get rid of.  Use the principle if you haven’t worn it in the last two years, chances are you will never wear it. 

You have to be quite ruthless and realise that some things are never going to be used in your household again.  Once you start clearing and cleaning you will find that you have new space to use.  And if you have no idea how to use this new space there are lots of places that can offer advice or give you new ideas.  For example try where you can find innovative ideas and solutions from all over the world.  But beware, this can be addictive and you could end up spending time on the site when you should be clearing the cupboards.   From unusual designer interiors, imaginative storage solutions and even redesigning your garden and exterior space, once you’ve got rid of your old stuff there will be no stopping.  It doesn’t have to cost the earth and it is a very positive cathartic experience too so good for the mind as well.


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carolyn b card extra text pink



 tinaabbot atoves







The weather so far remains relatively mild and I think everyone is hoping that this year we won't get such a damaging cold spell as the first two weeks of Feb 2012, but - keep an eye on the weather forecast and take appropriate action if any serious cold is forecast.  At the moment of writing this it is clear and sunny outside - perfect for getting out and about into the garden!  If you haven't yet done so, prune wisteria  and start to trim climbers like ivy and Virginia creeper.  Any weeding and tidying up of borders at this time of year is always useful - getting a head start!  And, if it rains then a good indoor gardening job is to look at bulb catalogues and think about ordering summer flowering bulbs such as lilies and cannas.

One of the questions I am mopst often asked is about the little white grubs that are found in the soil and in compost heaps.  They are cockchafer grubs (hanneton in French) and cause damage by eating roots and tubers.  See this link for more information.

There are a number of plants in flower at the moment; one of the loveliest is Iris unguicularis or Algerian Iris, scented flowers from late December to the end of February, it likes a well drained, sunny position.

At La Petite Pépinière we shall be offering two gardening courses this spring:

An Introduction to Pruning - Thursday 14th March, 10am to 4pm will be an introduction to the principles and practice of pruning, why, when and how.  Practical work in the garden here will be included and we will focus on pruning practices relating to plants frequently found in gardens in the region.  Course fee:  45€

Propagation:  Thursday 21st March, 10am to 4pm -  an introduction to the principles of propagation - how to increase your own plants by layering, division, seeds and cuttings.  Plenty of practical work included.  Course fee 45€

For more info about gardening courses contact


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. Open on Fridays & Saturdays from 10 to 18h and Sunday mornings from 10 to 12h from the beginning of March until the end of November and at any time of the year by appointment.  Regular opening hours will start again on Friday 1st March 2013.  



The Property Page

Detached modern house for sale in Montréal

within walking distance from the shops. Around the house is a well layed out garden. On the private parking there is place for three cars. In the house are three bedrooms two with a wardrobe with sliding doors. There is a small bathroom with bath and wash-hand basin. The living has two dubble doors to the terras at the back that gives a view on the Montagne Noir. There is an open kitchen with a window to the front terras. There is a awning over the whole front terras. There is a utility-room next to the kitchen. Attached to the house is a shed. Bus stop from/to Carcassonne/Bram twice a day in front of house.


 Bob de Mey, Avenue de Languedoc 13, 11290 Montréal. Tel. and mobile 06.477.38.359

energy mont house


Villa for sale 11390 Brousses-et-Villaret Aude 295,000 €


for 13 editions (6months)
link to your own web page

20120902-IMG 1663

CARCASSONNE: villa for quick sale - €160,000-

New Pics of House 6.02.11 038smArchitect designed Villa finished to a very high standard with character features close to Bellegarde du Razes 310,000€


Pech Luna (11420)

beautiful renovated country house

P1010018Modern,environmentally friendly house built in 2007. 295,000€


Holiday Apartment AiguaBlava,

Costa Brava


Naturist Property 115.000 euro


for 13 editions (6months)
link to your own web page

Bordebasse du Lac - Cottage available for long term rental


Semi detached house with stunning mountain views 150,000€



The 2 channels mentioned appear to go down at 6.00 p.m.   After Come

Dine with Me but before Ben Hur finished!  Not sure if there is any solution but 'Dave the Man at Rennes le Bains' is the expert.



How can i tell if the fire wood that i have had delivered is what i have paid for? all these peels and steers i am confused, can anyone help?





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 12 Janvier 2013 

Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)

Coursan  (Coursan)

Narbonne  (vide grenier tout les samedis et dimanches et jours feries)

Quillan  (Brocante de quillan)

Dimanche 13 Janvier 2013           

Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)

Coursan  (Vide grenier)

Lézignan-Corbières  (brocante vide grenier)

Marseillette  (super loto a marseillette)

Narbonne  (vide grenier tout les samedis et dimanches et jours feries)

Pomas  (loto annuel du club du temps libre)

Rieux-Minervois  (loto organise par les medailles militaires)

Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes)

Samedi 19 Janvier 2013 

Coursan  (Coursan)


Narbonne  (vide grenier tout les samedis et dimanches et jours feries)

Quillan  (Brocante de quillan)

Saverdun  (vide grenier)

Dimanche 20 Janvier 2013           

Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)

Coursan  (Vide grenier)

Gruissan  (LOTO point jeunes de la MJC)

Lézignan-Corbières  (brocante vide grenier)

Narbonne  (vide grenier tout les samedis et dimanches et jours feries)

Rieux-Minervois  (hyper Loto)

Salsigne  (loto des pompiers)

Saverdun  (vide grenier)

Montgailhard  (loto)

Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes)

Saint-Girons  (Les puces du champ de mars)


 What's On


Marché aux truffes et Produits de l'Aude 12 Jan Talairan

MAMMA MIA 18 to 23 Jan Zenith Toulouse

Marché aux truffes et Produits de l'Aude 19 Jan VILLENEUVE-MINERVOIS 

MARILLION 25 Jan Bikini Toulouse

ANGUS STONE 26 Jan Bikini Toulouse

Marché aux truffes et Produits de l'Aude 2 Feb


Marché aux truffes et Produits de l'Aude 9 Feb VILLENEUVE-MINERVOIS 




SWAN LAKE 3 Mar Zinga Zanga Beziers

Two door cinema club 11 March Bikini Toulouse


Toques et Cloches 23 March Gardie et Villebazy

RED ARMY CHOIR 27 Mar Zenith Toulouse

ERIC BIBB ET HABIB KOITE 4 April Salle Nougaro Toulouse

ICE AGE LIVE 5/7 April Zenith Toulouse

MELODY GARDOT 14 April Halle aux Grains Toulouse

ALPHA BLONDY & THE SOLAR SYSTEM 17 April Bikini Toulouse

PINK MARTINI 18 April Zinga Zanga Beziers



ROMEO ET JULIETTE 15 Nov Zenith Toulouse





 On a Lighter Note



Aunt Karen

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: to get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.

Ashley said, "My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg-laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the car when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs went flying and broke and made a mess."

"What's the moral of the story?" asked the teacher.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket!"

"Very good," said the teacher.

Next, little Sarah raised her hand and said, "Our family are farmers, too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. We had a dozen eggs one time, but when they hatched we only got ten live chicks. And the moral to this story is don't count your chickens before they're hatched."

"That was a fine story, Sarah. So Michael, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes, my daddy told me this story about my Aunt Karen. Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in the Gulf War and her plane was hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete. She drank the whisky on the way down so it wouldn't break, and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. Then she killed the last ten with her bare hands."

"Good heavens," said the horrified teacher, "what kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?"

 "Don't mess with Aunt Karen when she's been drinking."


ATTORNEY:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS:     The autopsy started around 8:30 PM

ATTORNEY:  And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS:     If not, he was by the time I finished.


ATTORNEY:  Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

WITNESS:     No.

ATTORNEY:  Did you check for blood pressure?

WITNESS:     No.

ATTORNEY:  Did you check for breathing?

WITNESS:     No…

ATTORNEY:  So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

WITNESS:     No.

ATTORNEY:  How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS:     Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY:  I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS:     Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law. 


Cheap as chips

hoc breakfast


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1 image and 25 words, plus contact details in 3 editions

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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

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