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I wondered why Putin was getting aerated about the Cyprus Government acting more like a medieval lord than the rulers of an EU country.  I refer to the “tax” on bank accounts.  According to Moody’s there is about £21bn of Russian money in Cypriot bank accounts.  A leaked report from the German foreign intelligence service, quoted by Der Spiegel, suggested that the main beneficiaries from a eurozone bail-out of Cyprus would be Russian oligarchs, businessmen and mafiosi.  Needless to say whatever they do now on this “tax” it will be messy and will further weaken the euro which, for those of you wanting your sterling to go further,  could be helpful.


The above was written on Tuesday and the Cypriot government have voted no to the tax, so does that mean Europe will be selling Cyprus to Russia?


The new pope then, Francis the 1st but I don’t understand why in Italy he is Francesco? Does that mean he has a translated name in lots of languages, it’s bad enough with cities being translated but come on, at least if you change your name on getting a new job, the least you can do is keep it the same on a worldwide basis.  Think of the merchandising?  Oh maybe they did and that’s why it’s different. So they can sell the obsessed multiple items? Well I still think it’s silly!


It would appear car makers are really scraping the barrel for names have you seen there is a new Vauxhall/Opel that’s called an “Adam”?


I definitely think it’s too early for Toques et Clochers, but it is on Saturday so get dressed up warmly and get yourself down there.  If you haven’t been before please note you have to take a shuttle bus. Don’t worry all is well organised and runs like clockwork. The details below will perhaps be useful for your planning. The dinner on the Sunday night is this year presided over by Regis Marcon (he has had 3 Michelin stars since 2005) and sommelier of the year 2007 Andreas Larsson.  Mr Larsson seems a little unsure about this event as in his calendar he has his time down as “holidays” ..tut tut Andy.


Please do take note that clocks go forward in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning.


Check out the real organic Hot X Bun ordering arrangements below














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

carolyn b card extra text pink


 Can you afford to advertise in the Flyer? Can you afford not to?




It seems like only a few days ago that I was saying how amazing it is that February is here already.  Now I look up, and it's March.  Even worse, if you're reading this on the day the Flyer was (hopefully) sent out, it is a mere two days to go to my fortyeighteenth birthday.  Now that is scary.  I'm going to a friend's 60th at the end of March, and he's not taking it well.  I think I know how he feels.


There is a reason for all this birthday stuff, and it's not sympathy or pressies, although all are welcome, so please read on.  It's about a rather stunning fact that I read on the internet this morning.  If you are 65 years old now, what do you think your life expectancy was when you were born?  The answer is ... 65.  So what should you do now?  Cancel the golf club membership and book a plot?  Thankfully no.  Statistically, you still have over 17 years to live, so time for a few more birdies yet. (Was that risqué? No, you're alright, you already mentioned golf.  OK )


Now this was leading me nicely into a clever piece about how you can expect to fund your life and lifestyle during your retirement years, and how cash is no longer king, and to be wary of the evils of inflation, but then I've suddenly realised that the inspiration for this was probably my colleague Daphne's very recent article along pretty much the same lines.  Excuse me for a few minutes.  Time needed for contemplation.


OK, I'm back.  Let's take it as read that you've taken on board all the points that Daphne made in her article.  No?  Why not?  Go and read it now, then report back to me. If you don't know where it is, mail me and I'll send you the link. 


What else do we need to think about in out retirement years?  Well we know that we need to make our money last us out, and we know that a good financial adviser can not only point us in the right direction but hold our hand along the way.  But what might he or she actually say to us if we overcame our shyness/natural reticence/outright suspicion and actually invited him or her round for a chat?  Let's have a look at an average Languedocienne couple:




Cecil and Cecilia (how did you two get together by the way?) are both 65 years old, and both retired.  They have £90,000 in savings; own their house, and  have pension income of approximately €18,000 between them in State and personal pensions.  They enjoy relatively modest lifestyle, and usually spend between €20,000 and €25,000 a year.  As they spend more than they have coming in , for whatever reason, they have to take money from their savings in Barclays, so they haven't grown very much over the past few years.  In fact a few years ago they had £110,000.   Everything seems to be getting so expensive these days.


Well the good news is that Cecil is probably going to live for another 17 years, and Cecilia may have close on another 20 years ahead of her.  The bad news is that they are going to run out of money long before they get there, unless we do something about it.  They might get lucky and survive if they sell their house in a few years time and rent somewhere, but there is a danger that all their reserves will dry up before they do. The figures say it all.  Yes, as they get older they will spend less (in theory), but inflation will take care of that.  Capital is great news, but it evaporates.  They will probably have to replace their car at least once; something will need doing to the house, hearing aids; glasses, mobility scooters, and our friend inflation (remember when we all thought he was dead?) is lurking round every corner.




There are two ways to approach your financial future.  One involves planning, budgets and advice.  The other requires no action at all.  Does Daphne's article seem even more relevant now?


By the way, tomorrow is the Le Tour de Finance seminar in Narbonne.  If you would like more information 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, get along there!


If you have any questions on this, or any other subject, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Rob Hesketh:




By phone on 0468 247758 or mobile 0631 787647


Or by mail at  You can find out more about Spectrum on and






   Want to advertise but cant do the artwork?

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




Email:;  National Website:

Forum:     Local Website:

 Local Association No : W112000594

bandas mont13


Led by University of Exeter creative writing tutor, and UKCP psychotherapist Bridget Holding. Booking&information: 0468 20 96 85


Tech Talk



Internet TV

I’ve been asked to write about internet TV and explain what the different options are. Increasingly TV companies like the BBC and ITV are putting ever more of their content online but as many of you may have discovered it’s not available in France. This is due to licensing restrictions imposed on the UK TV companies by OFCOM the UK regulator.

Many people have discovered there are ways around these restrictions, through the use of portal or VPN services, or other options such as web sites that stream UK TV out on to the internet. There are some ricks to be aware of if you are using any of these options, I will cover them later in this article.

What are Netflix and Lovefilm, they are sites that allow you to legally watch movies for a monthly subscription, both offer a very similar service priced at around 5 pounds per month for as many movies as you can watch. You can watch on your computer, iPad, Apple TV, Xbox and many other devices, even some TV’s are coming with internet connections and streaming services. It’s the modern equivalent of Video/DVD rental via the internet directly into your home.

Many people ask me if there is a way to get Lovefilm or Netflix while in France, at the moment the French don’t really have anything to compete, there is nothing official except via your Internet providers set-top TV boxes and these tend to be all in French. There are many un-official and illegal streaming sites most of them very dangerous as its illegal to stream form these sites and your internet connection could be cut off.

(If anyone knows of legal French movie streaming services similar to Netflix please let me know?)  

Many of the French TV companies have internet TV similar to the UK, a number broadcast live and allow you can watch the French TV directly from their web sites (great for those that don’t have an aerial or only get UK TV).  Some are now starting to offer iPlayer type services meaning you can watch previously broadcast programs – registration is usually required.

So what are the options?

For UK TV or iPlayer type services via the internet you will require a service that hides the fact you are in France.

For UK Movies streaming sites the same applies you will require a service that hides the fact you are in France.

For UK TV Streaming sites such as no extra software or services are needed (not counting Adobe Flash, Java or Silverlight).

For French TV via the internet just go directly to the TV channels web site for example

What are the risks?

For UK TV, iPlayer, Loveflim, Netflix etc. a VPN (virtual private network) service is required, this covers services like Expat-shield, iPortal, StrongVPN, and these types of service carry a risk. The risk is that the link you make between your computer and the VPN server in the UK is two-way, it was designed for office staff to be able to access a company’s server across the internet so the information needs to flow both ways. So when you are watching TV it’s possible (however highly unlikely) that someone else on the server end could be looking through your computer. It’s for this reason I do not recommend these services, the risk is slight but it’s still a risk.

There is a new service that I have been trialling it’s very new and works in a totally different and completely safe way, it’s called UnoTelly. You get a free trial and then you need to signup and pay around 5 dollars (3€80) per month. Their service works by redirecting the DNS from your computers internet connection to one of their DNS servers, their server recodes it before sending it to the BBC, ITV, Netflix sites etc. so the sites think its communicating with your computer as if it were in the UK (I’ve greatly simplified what is actually happening). The advantage it is much faster than VPN and also completely secure as you are not connecting to a remote server. It can be a little tricky to setup, but the quick setup guides they provide are very good. Go to for more information.

If you watch via streaming web sites be very careful of what you are being asked to download! Many people have become infected after downloading players, toolbars and other software that the sites require before they allow you to watch. The most common of these are sites offer to show you sports matches (Football, Rugby, F1 etc.), usually from middle-eastern countries they always require you to download something before you can watch. These downloads are ALL infected, some have viruses, some Trojans, some spyware or malware – these sites are not free! They want something from you for the service they provide – your information! The only safe site I know about is the basic service is free, for HD or on demand a subscription is required.

Be aware that streaming from illegal sites is dealt with in the same way as illegal downloading in France, the HADOPI law applies. It’s effectively a 3 strikes and you are out policy, 1 warning email, 1 warning letter, final warning and you are cut off from all internet services for a year.  There is talk of the law be withdrawn as it’s unworkable but people have already been prosecuted and cut off.  


It is possible to get internet TV while in France but not very much is available for free, for a low monthly price you can have a safe way to watch UK TV on your computer but some configuration/setup is required.

A simpler option might be to stay using a Satellite service like Freesat.

If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice. or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.






Aude Generic Winter 378


 chris trailer  reillysofabed










meteo ciel3





LAUGH your way to good health!!!!



Give your innards a workout and LAUGH yourself fit (this is especially for those with an exercise aversion)








A good sense of humour can't cure all ailments, but evidence is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.


The following is from the Mayo Clinic in the States:


Short-term benefits
Laughing actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:


  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.


Long-term effects
Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:


  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.




Add to that the fact that you are using numerous facial muscles as well as abdominal muscles when you laugh and it all points to laughing being a GOOD thing for your body. Give it a go…………………………




The Importance of Walking:


Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at €7000 per month. 
My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where he is.
The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing.
Exercise et al


I joined a health club last year, spent about €400. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there.
Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.
The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, 'Well, she looks good doesn't she.'
If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.
I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,...... just getting over the hill.

Remember…………………. Seven days without laughter makes one weak.
So……………….. if you’ve guffawed your way through that lot, WELL DONE – you’ve just done a major workout!  And you thought you didn’t LIKE exercise.









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



 Le Flyer est disponible dans d'autres langues via le site web,






Despite the rather variable weather many hardy perennials are starting to shoot so keep an eye out for slug and snail damage and take appropriate action.  Many spring bulbs are starting to flower, most of these benefit from deadheading as the flowers go over so that the plant's growth is channelled back into the bulb for next year rather than setting seed.  There are some exceptions to this - anemones such as A blanda and A de Caen hybrids tend to self seed around the garden and I like to encourage this.

The fabulous climbing plant Clematis armandii is in full flower at the moment, with evergreen foliage and scented white flowers it will take sun or half shade and once established it can grow to four or five metres high so makes a great covering for a pergola or trained up against a wall.  If you need to prune it this can be done after flowering.

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.  



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



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


20120902-IMG 1663

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


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€







Thanks for publishing my “rant”. The guys on the ground that enable us to sleep in safety need` our support, whatever their nationality.


Much appreciated,






Blimey - all these people happy to be 'loyal subjects - long to be ruled over' rather than citizens! Living in the wrong place methinks....





I really don't know how you have the patience Steve


All the best








I fail to understand the thrust of the letter from Grahame Pigney.  What exactly is he saying?  Mail from loved ones, respect, measured and informed comment!  Have I missed an important item of news?  Are Brits in France protesting about French military intervention in Mali?  Perhaps Grahame can elucidate.






Tony Feldman 




 Hi Steve,




Just want to say that although we are in Dubai for 2 years we still enjoy your Flyer.  Loved your opening letter, made us laugh & the photos of Ken & Paul looking so similar...Paul would cringe! Perhaps they're brothers?!




Keep up the good work.




Best regards, 




Carol & Dave




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


Vendredi 22 Mars 2013                 

Leuc  (deco d'Antan - Antiquité Brocante)             

Samedi 23 Mars 2013     

Coursan  (Coursan)

Leuc  (deco d'Antan - Antiquité Brocante)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Quillan  (Brocante de quillan)

Saverdun  (vide grenier)

Dimanche 24 Mars 2013               

Alairac  (vide grenier du F.C.Malepère)

Azille  (vide greniers organisé par les cyclos)

Bize-Minervois  (marché de printemps)

Carcassonne  (vide grenier du Carcassonne Pétanque Sport)

Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)

Coursan  (Vide grenier)

Fanjeaux  (vide grenier de l'école publique)

Fitou  (bourse aux vetements)

Leuc  (deco d'Antan - Antiquité Brocante)

Lézignan-Corbières  (brocante vide grenier)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Quillan  (english Library's Car Boot Sale / Vide Grenier)

Saint-Pierre-la-Mer  (vide greniers)

Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes)     


Vendredi 29 Mars 2013 

Leuc  (deco d'Antan - Antiquité Brocante)             

Villemoustaussou  (LOTO de l'école maternelle)

Samedi 30 Mars 2013     

Coursan  (Coursan)

Leuc  (deco d'Antan - Antiquité Brocante)

Montolieu  (20ème salon du livre ancien et d'occasion)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Quillan  (vide Grenier de l'entraide)

Quillan  (Brocante de quillan)

Thézan-des-Corbières  (brocante marche artisanal vide grenier)

Saverdun  (vide grenier)

Dimanche 31 Mars 2013               

Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)

Coursan  (Vide grenier)

Leuc  (deco d'Antan - Antiquité Brocante)

Montolieu  (20ème salon du livre ancien et d'occasion)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Thézan-des-Corbières  (brocante marche artisanal vide grenier)

Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes

Lundi 1 Avril 2013            

Montolieu  (20ème salon du livre ancien et d'occasion)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Dalou  (vide grenier du comite des fetes)


 What's On


Toques et Clochers 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

THE BREEDERS 27 May Bikini Toulouse

TOTO 15 June Zenith Toulouse



DAVID GUETTA 21 June Carcassonne Festival

ARCTIC MONKEYS 15 July Carcassonne Festival

SMASHING PUMPKINS 17 July Carcassonne Festival

LIZA MINNELLI 18 July Carcassonne Festival

NAIVE NEW BEATERS & TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB 20 July  Carcassonne Festival

GEORGE CLINTON & THE BLUES BROTHERS 21 July Carcassonne Festival

Benjamin Biolay + Patti Smith + Lou Reed 22 July Carcassonne Festival

MARK KNOPFLER 24 July Carcassonne Festival


ROMEO ET JULIETTE 15 Nov Zenith Toulouse


benicassim 13  aff-semaine-HISP-Carca-2013



 On a Lighter Note









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