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Are there any intrepid walkers out there who have a touch of "Wainwright" in them? I am looking for people who know walks in their area and who can write about them with perhaps a drawing of the route. It could possibly be done by sketching the route over a google map and scanning it. These walks can then be shared via The Flyer with others who don't know the area.

Watch out for maybe more than one Spring Plant Swap this year and if it's up your rue keep Good Friday free and start thinking about what you can bring and collect up the books you don’t need any longer to give to CSF. With any luck they should be in at least 5 locations in the region, more news later.

Is it just me who has problems with people who don't indicate when they are driving? I regularly make a left turn at a T junction and I wait patiently for all the cars that are coming in the lane I have to cross. I would say nine out of ten of them turn into the road that I am leaving but they don't indicate. If I knew they were turning right and the lane I was entering was clear I could turn safely, but no. They just turn or indicate a few yards from their turn. So I wait. Surely they must have the same problem, wouldn't that have made them realise it's a good idea? The other day there were two cars coming down the same road both indicating that they were going to turn right into the road I was leaving and the lane I was turning into was clear, so I made the turn safe in the knowledge that there was no one crossing my path. But oh no, that wasn't the case, as I crossed the first car did as he said and turned right and the second carried straight on nearly broad-siding me, and sounding his horn, as if I was a complete idiot for crossing his path. So his indicators were still on from his last turn I presume? The moral of this story is don't believe any indicators on any vehicles and you should be alright. That includes one's that aren't being used. Maybe manufacturers should just do away with them altogether!

The CCI in Pau have told Ryanair that they will not pay the annual marketing aid anymore. Will Ryanair pull the plug on its routes? Well yes, I would think they would. But miraculously Cityjet, a division of Air France, may step into the breach with a flight to London City airport. There is no sign on website yet and the website is pretty clumsy so when I did eventually find a flight they looked pretty cher. This doesn't seem to be a low cost replacement. I think Europe would be a much different place if Ryanair hadn't been oiling the mobility of Europeans for the last 24 years since the "open skies" deregulation of 1996.

Is LinkedIn the Masonic version of facebook? And why can my spell-checker recognise LinkedIn and not "don't"?. It also wants to split facebook into two words.

Should the go-kart track in Toulouse consider a name change? Has anyone got an idea why more than 5000 Tunisians have fled their country to the Italian island of Lampedusa? Surely it's all nice and free now in their home country? Or are these the unemployable special police forces that are unemployable now?

Is there are a reason that some vignerons leave pruning their vines until February/March? During the frost I always see them rushing to get it finished before the first sprouting of buds. Then there are the others who get it done in October/November when it's milder. They always look less pressured and less likely to cut off their numbed fingers with their vicious electric pruners.

No doubt Mr Berlusconi will claim Viagra contaminated pasta if he ever gets to court on the Rubygate saga.

Make sure you have in your address book to avoid not receiving your Flyer, and do pass the Flyer on liberally and do pass the Flyer on to others please.



need help making your ad?

"So I can advertise in every Flyer for 
6 months for only 250 euros and you will do my artwork for 25 euros - where do I sign?"

Rotavator Oleo-mac MHP 6Pro For Sale

6 tines 90cm width Robin 6hp engine, forward and reverse, pneumatic drive control.
Instruction and serice manuals.
One owner excellent condition.


04 68 31 54 62

180cc, 2001, Automatic forward & reverse gears, Electric start, French registered, rider + pillion.Used condition, Library photo. Limoux area, Delivery possible. 750€
Email for details & more photos -


I was asked recently to write a short article on the tax changes to be imposed upon us by the 2011 Loi de Finances. Sounds OK to me, I thought. I'll just take a quick browse through it to make sure there's nothing I've missed... It turns out that there are 209 articles in this year's edition, and so more effort than I was anticipating was required, but it was more interesting than I thought, so if you're sitting comfortably, here is a short précis.

Austerity Rules!
Yes, it really does look as though austerity is "in vogue" this year. Christine Lagarde is obviously a fan of George Osborne. Actually, she probably speaks better English as well. I can't find any cheerful news at all in the whole bill, so don't expect too many laughs. I will however spare you the nitty gritty details such as: "The tax benefit resulting from the reductions and tax credits to selected b 2 of Article 200-0 A of the Tax Code for the purposes of 1 of this Article, except those mentioned in sexdecies sections 199, 199 and 200 j C c B of the Code, subject to a decrease of 10% calculated as follows" You get my drift. Gird your loins and prepare yourself for:

Income tax
Let's start with the soft stuff. Tax allowances have been increased by approximately 1.5% across the board, but the top rate (we should be so lucky) has gone up to 41%. So you can earn up to 5,963€ and pay nothing, but over 70,830€ you will pay full whack.

Social Charge
Income tax, just with another name, goes up (quel surprise) from 12.1% to 12.3%. Think of this tax as NI without a cap.

Capital Gains Tax
Up? Correct. CGT on the sale of property rises from 16 to 19%, and this level is now enjoyed also by capital gains on shares, dividends and earned interest. In total then, CGT and Social Charge on property sales will be a whopping 31.3%. Nah, who cares? I hear from the back row. It's not payable on principal residences so it only affects multiple home-owners. Actually that may be the case now, but it is already in the firing line for an amendment later this year, and we may find it charged on all house sales soon.

OK, TVA. It will now be less in France than it is in the UK. No change, apart from some silly meddling with broadband services.

Tax Relief
You might think that this section would have a "feel good" factor about it, but you'd be wrong. Nearly all tax reliefs are reduced. Notable amongst them tax credits in favour of energy conservation; tax relief on mortgage interest (abolished); tax relief on dividends (abolished); the tax reduction on off-plan buy-to-let properties has been reduced, and Assurance vie contracts will also pay 12.3% social charges each year if "fonds en euro" are involved. This should not by the way deter investment in assurance vie policies, as it doesn't increase the tax payable, it just brings forward the date on which it is paid.

Wealth tax
And the list goes on... Allowances up by 1.5%, now starting at 800,000€. Rates kept the same. More interestingly, there are lots of rumours of the demise of Wealth Tax this year, and with it the Bouclier Fiscal. This would mean a net loss to the "fisc", so watch out for more tax rises elsewhere if it happens.

The list does go on, but quite frankly becomes less interesting as it does so. Until, that is, you happen across article 59. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where a lot of you have to sit up and pay attention.

Pension Commencement Lump Sum
Now shortened to PCLS, in a former life known as the Tax Free Lump Sum. Readers of my articles over the last few years, and certainly my clients, will be aware of my views of the potential of the "fisc" to tax these payments if you are resident in France. You will know that although it has always been a grey area, my advice has been that it should not be taxed here. It should also be done in haste before the tide turns. It is no longer a grey area. It has turned black. My interpretation of article 59, shared by others in the industry, is that the "fisc" has now positioned itself to tax the PCLS in France. Now this being France of course, there may well be instances where local tax offices may not implement this, presumably because they won't have read article 59, but my advice from here on in is that to failure to declare a tax free lump sum will be tax evasion. Remember - Avoidance good, Evasion bad. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, especially when I've told you about it.

There will undoubtedly be those who cry "Unfair! Why should we pay tax in France when if we lived in the UK we wouldn't?" and "What about the Double Taxation Treaty?" Answers in reverse order. The Taxation Treaty exists to ensure that tax is not paid twice on the same item. It is only being levied once, so no protection there. As for living in France as opposed to the UK, think on this. Why would you suppose the UK tax authorities have recently changed the name of this from "tax free to "pension commencement"? Cynics amongst us, including me, might just think that the dear old tax free lump sum is a dead man walking in the UK too...

a bientot, Rob

If you have any questions or comments on this, or any other subject, please don't hesitate to contact me, 
Rob Hesketh:By phone on 0468 247758 or mobile 0631 787647Or by mail at
You can find out more about Spectrum on And about France-Financial on

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French without fears - with Claire Campbell
Private lessons, or courses with accommodation included, from British-born qualified teacher (with 20 years' experience) in the scenic village of Cucugnan.
For more details see 
or phone Claire 06 78 15 19 29.

TECH TALK with Bruce Taylor

Well it's something a little different for you this time, three questions for the price of one!

Question 1, Is there an easy way to learn how to use my mobile phone or smart phone?

With the growing complexity of mobile phones especially the smart phone variety like the Apples iPhone or Google Android phones this is not an easy question. Why because every phone is slightly different. Each manufacturer and even individual models of a phone can have its own way of doing things and trying to learn these by reading the manual can often be very difficult (and confusing). It's even more difficult for a phone bought here in France as they often do not come with English instructions in the box.

One way to learn is to go directly to the manufacturer's website and download the manual or see what resources they have available, many have basic tutorials or step-by-step guides. Another is to look for information using Google, this will often lead you to sites that have basic tutorials or information on your phone, or even reviews can be useful as they will show you all of its features.

However my favourite is to use "YouTube", many people and many organisations post videos on YouTube and this can be a very easy way to watch someone else explain all the features of your phone and how to use them.

Question 2. How do I find out more about broadband, if it's available, when it's coming, and how fast is it?

There are a number of resources available online where you can check out your telephone line to see if broadband is available, what the max speed is and sometimes when it is going to be available.

The most useful of the sites is, there is a space at the top to type your telephone number and postcode the site is in French but is very easy to follow. Type in your number and your postcode and press the test my eligibility button. After a few moments of testing you will be shown the results, this will show which telephone exchange you are connected too, the distance you are from the exchange, the attenuation of the line, and an estimation of the maximum speed. If your exchange has not yet been enabled for broadband then you may well see an estimated date of when your area will be enabled. Below the test results each of the major broadband suppliers are listed and shows what services are available in your area.

In a number of cases I have found Orange/Wanado customers that have had broadband for some time (two years or more) are often running at a reduced speed. Many people find they originally signed up for a 1 Mb contract and even though the speed of their exchange has increased they have not been given the extra speed. In most cases you will need to make contact with orange directly and ask for your speed to be increased, you may well have to agree to sign up for another year and you should not have to pay any extra.

France Telecom Orange have an English speaking helpline and can be contacted in working hours on 09 69 36 39 00 they are able to help with any billing or technical question.

It may be a good time to review how much you are paying for broadband and telephone communications, I will not go into too much detail here and now as it’s probably a whole article in itself.

As a basic guide there are two types of contract,

1: Where you pay individually for your landline, for your broadband, and your calls. This is the traditional type of contract and can work out to be extremely expensive. Landline 16€ per month, broadband 29€ per month, calls 10€ plus per month.

2: Where you pay one fee for a combined contract this includes the landline, broadband, and free calls to landline numbers in multiple countries (around 100). This type of contract is often considerably cheaper and prices start from 31€ per month.

(There are many other combination contracts that mix-and-match these two services that I have not gone into in this article).

Question 3. How do I keep my computer clean?

Starting at the top and working down:

  • First making sure the computer is turned off otherwise all sorts of strange things are likely to happen.
  • To clean your screen use a soft damp cloth, or a very small amount of a mild window cleaner sprayed onto a soft cloth. You do not need to buy expensive screen cleaners but you should be careful not to scratch the screen or use anything that might melt the plastic.
  • To clean your mouse and keyboard, use a damp cloth. Things tend to get down between the keys of the keyboard like bits of fluff and paper you may need to use compressed air to get this out, this can be bought in cans from most supermarkets or computer shops or use a small compressor with an airgun attachment (being very careful as this type of air is extremely powerful and can also be slightly damp).
  • To clean your computer or laptop, wipe over all the surfaces including the fan vents at the back and the front with a damp cloth this should remove most of the dust that's caught in the fan vents. You may need to use compressed air to blow through the fans, the heatsinks, and vents. To access these parts you might need to open the side of the computer, it's often a good idea to unplugs the computer and take it outside before you blow it through, computers collect huge amount of dust inside and you don't want this all over the living room. You should also be careful to hold the fans as you do not want them spinning around at high speed while you squirt the air, as this could damage the computer. If you cannot hold the fan then use a folded piece of paper and carefully push it into the fan.
Keeping your computer clean and dust free will help to keep it cool, will reduce the risk of it crashing and will generally extend its life.

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

Bruce Taylor.

"Le Network"
Services Ltd
Local & International Removal Services
Free Quotations.Export Packing & Crating.
Local & UK collections & deliveries.Regular UK/ Europe part load service.

Agent for Pickfords
Britannia, Robinsons
& others
CALL: Chris Bryan

04 68 69 15 71 or email
Anglo European Light Haulage
Delivery and collection service between the UK and France 
(eg: Kitchens, Bathrooms, Furniture, Ebay, White Goods, Quads, Mowers,.....)
Full or part loads 
in both directions 
Contact us for a quote
UK 0779 555 2810France 06 20 27 58 66
Quality metalwork including: gates, fences, pergolas, gazibos, staircases, iron furniture 
(indoor and outdoor), structural tie bars etc.
Your design or ours!
To discuss your requirements0468 940584 

Siret 489 194 142 00019TVA Intracom fr8348919414200019

Submissions for the next Flyer by 4 March please

Topcon GTS212 electronic total station. Serial no. LH 6617.2 no. Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries ref. BT-32Q.Battery charger with refresh facility ref BC-19CR.Plumb bob.Serial signal computer connector ref. RS-232C.Hard plastic carrying case.Instruction manual.Last calibrated in 2008 – unused since.

Topcon prism station with hard plastic carrying case.2 no. Nedo heavy duty wooden tripods.Detail pole with Topcon prism complete with soft carrying case.Mini pole and prism set

Topcon AT-G4 automatic level with hard plastic carrying case.Aluminium tripod.5 meter 5 section telescopic aluminium staff with cover.

All in good condition.Total price 2350 euros.
Offers considered. Separation possible.
Tel/Fax 04 68 31 54 62. (Puivert)
If you have been sent the Flyer from a friend and would like your own copy please subscribe it's free!
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 research 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 effectsLaughter isn't just a quick pick#45;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#33; 
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,
European Register of Exercise Professionals

The Aude & Ariege Flyer Flyer Dates & Deadlines for Submissions

Renovation, Installation,
Servicing, Repairs, Alarms.

We are Registered Artisans, offering an 
experienced and professional service.

Justin 0665060574 Siret Nº 48030739600022
David 0633388738 Siret Nº 48247644700016

Interior doors
Garage doors
James Gordon Roe
General Builder & Carpenter
Established for 10 years in the Aude
Tel:+33 (0)4 68 78 72 51
Mobile:+33(0)6 19 95 87 50

Siret No 51374130600015

Tobias Sommer, Apex Elagage: Fully-insured tree-surgeon, holding a state diploma in tree surgery - specialised in all tree works including reductions, pruning, felling, lifting, removal of dangerous trees, maintenance of green spaces and clearance. Free estimate of work & no travelling expenses. Covering all areas in Aude & Ariege. English, French & German spoken.
Call: 06 84 67 28 28 email
n° siret : 50081256500017
10 February Bangkok Station Villefranche de Lauragais. I did think I was chancing my arm putting this one into the schedule, but I had repeatedly heard good things and had tried on a couple of occasions to eat there, when it was either full or I was there too early. It is neither in the Aude or Ariege, would anyone comeA Well they did and in quantity.

Coming from London, I have been used to eating the cuisine of the world when I wanted, not so easy here, another reason to make the journey. It's not quite where you would expect to find a popular restaurant, on a small parade of shops with unlikely neighbours. Staffed by two, one in the kitchen (smaller than my larder) and one out front I decided that it would only make sense that we ordered starter and main course (the normal lunch deal is 11€ entree, plat and cafe or plat, dessert and cafe) some with starter and some with dessert would be hard to administer.

The starter was a mix of nem, pepper and garlic spare rib and Beignets de crevettes, it was well presented and a good size for lunch time.

To follow was Sauté du porc au gingembre et petits piments, unlike most Asiatic eateries around these parts here they don't do "oriental food light" and I don't mean they just try to register a negative number on the Scoville scale but they go leger on all herbs and spices. Not here though. Freshly cooked, authentic and more flavours than I have had in one plate in many a year here. It was served with plain rice again it looked good on the plate. When we were about half way through two more large bowls (and two of rice) were presented to the table.

The menu didn't include drinks (apart from the coffee, which had some power) so many people went for the Thai bottled beer option.

There was one person who went for the dessert which is cigar shaped fine nems filled either with chocolate or chocolate and banana.

This place shows why you need a real Thai chef to create the authenticity of taste -Another one of those restaurants I will go out of my way to visit!

Future DatesNo lunch club tomorrow, see you on march 10.

Thursday 10 March 12.30 Apostrophe, Impasse de la Manufacture, 11170 Montolieu 19€ 4 courses inc wine/soft drink and cafe.
Thursday 27 March 12.30 Coco Sweet, 4 Place Salvador Allende Lézignan Corbières 14€ for 3 courses including coffee and a glass of wine.

Email specifying how many people will attend (please indicate which location and how many vegetarians/pescatarians, if there are any, in your booking). Use these lunches to try a restaurant you haven't eaten in before. Make a day out of it and visit somewhere you haven't been. Meet new people. Come alone or with other friends.

Tel 05 65 27 29 48
Mob 06 37 08 60 07

Welsh Lamb, Irish Beef, Gold and Silver Award winning
sausages (1986) etc now available by post door to door. 
Prices may vary. Pre order and collect at Routier 
Sunday 20 March 10.00 - 12.00
Directions to the delivery point
Jon Oldham - Registered Builder
over 20yrs experience 
in UK and in France
based near Castelnaudaryall aspects of 
building work considered,free quotes given,
digger and dumper available
Tel: 0632329648/0468605771
or email:
SIRET No 521 775 882 00025
This is a secure service designed especially for people who would like to keep up to date with
their favourite programmes from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & 5 whilst they are out of the UK.

need help making your ad?

"So I can advertise in every Flyer for 
6 months for only 250 euros and you will do my artwork for 25 euros - where do I sign?"

Man with secure trailer 
with space available
modest contribution to transport costs requested.
Mas D'Azil to UK March 18,
route includes Portsmouth, Northampton, Telford, Birmingham, Stoke, Preston and Peterboroughcan collect or deliver within a reasonable area.Nothampton to Mas D'Azil March 27.
Call David on 
05 61 66 43 36 
or 06 63 76 62 37
The Property Page
The Property Page continues to generate interest, comment and web site visits so continuing on the "Property" theme Flyer readers will have the opportunity to put property questions to a Surveyor and Architectural consultant in the new Flyer feature "Ask the Expert". (see article below.)

Property wanted

First on the Property page today is Jo who lives in Paris and is looking for an old traditional style house to use as a family holiday home in the south of France accessible by TGV train (ideally Paris-Montpellier). The family need a minimum 3 bedrooms with possibility of additional space for visitors, a garden would be great too or at least an outdoor area as there are 3 children to entertain. She has a budget of 130,000€I know Montpellier is slightly removed from the epicenter of Flyer readership but I know the Flyer is passed on to friends and famiy all over France so maybe someone knows someone with a suitable property. If you can help Jo please contact me on this link.

Property for Sale

Robert is selling a 4 bedroom semi-detached house with spectacular views, set in good size garden on the edge of Le Bousquet (11140) a quiet mountain village at the head of a high valley. Recently updated with new kitchen, woodburning stove and insulation. Just 20 mins from Axat and 40 mins from ski areas 1 hour from the Mediterranean coast.

The house enjoys views of the surrounding fields, woods and mountains with canoeing, rafting, caving, walking, horse riding and much more close-by.

There is an open plan kitchen/dinning/sitting area, 2 double bedrooms on the lower floor (with WC between) and a further 2 double bedrooms on the upper floor (1 with adjoining room ideal for en-suite) there is also a shower room. There is an extensive cellar and log store.

The asking price is 150,000€

For more information or to arrange a viewing contact Robert

Property for Rental

Chris has a cosy two bedroom riverside bungalow for rental in a quite location just two minutes from Quillan town centre. There is a small garden/yard to the front and direct access to the river bank to the rear, so the property is not suitable for children. Rent is 450€ per month plus charges, and the property will be available in May.

In addition to the bungalow there are several large out buildings and a shop which front onto the main road and would be perfect for someone looking to start a business in the area, Ideally Chris would like to rent the house and outbuildings together later in the year after repairs have been completed.Under the new regulations Chris has supplied his DPE certificate but the calculation does not take into account the planned works to provide improved energy performance.For more details or to arrange a viewing contact chris

A new look for the property listings for 2011 with the addition of a photo on the front page ad below. If you have a property listing and would like to add/change photos or details or if your property has been sold please get in touch

If you are an agent or property finder and would like to advertise on the Property Page please contact me on this link

If you are looking for a property to buy or rent tell me what you are looking for and I will ask 3000+ people if they have or know of someone with a proprty that might be just what you are looking for.

As well as people looking for property the Property Page is also a place to advertise your property for sale. So if you have a property that you would like sell just get in touch

Here is the New look Property Listing


Stunning villa with 3 double bedrooms 399,500€
Albas (11360)
Traditional Village House 295,000€
Alet-les-Bains (11580)
Riverside Home & Business 
Caudebronde (11390) 
price reduced
Large riverside house
Carla Bayle (09130)

Building plot with mountain & lake views. 55,000€
Arques (11190)

Gite business or large family home 420,000€
Caunes Minervois (11160)

Large village house available for winter let
Bellegarde-du-Razès (11240)

5 bed Family Home in stunning location385,000€
Moux (11700)

Cosy gite between 
Carcassonne and Narbonne. 
Ideal for winter breaks.
Villeneuve les Montreal (11290)

Cave and small court yard garden 55,000€
Alaigne (11240)

Village house with garden 
Caunes Minervois (11160)

Romantic "Writer's Cottage" 
Camarade (09290)

Ferme La Tour Estate - Gites and Equestrian Center 800,000€
Grezes nr carcassonne (11090)

Le Vieux Presbytere - House and gite complex 695,000€
La Force (11270)
price reduced

5 bed Village house with garden and views 140,000€
Cahuzac (11420)

Bordebasse du Lac - Cottage available for long term rental
Villepinte (11150)
price reduced

Village house for renovation 
offers over 35,000€
13 editions 
link to your own web page
Routier (11240)
price reduced

Large village house & Gite with parking space 325,000€
near Limoux (11300)

Land for sale 4,750€ p/acre
St Girons (09200)
Building land 89,000€
near Esperaza (11260)

Building plot 78,000€
Trausse Minervois (11160)

Bright village house on corner plot with terrace 140,000€
Le Bousquet (11140)

Mountain hideaway just 20 mins from Axat 150,000€

Q."We are having a new and larger septic tank installed because the old one was not up to the modern standards and we are extending the bedroom accommodation. It is an "all waters" specification which we understood copes with WC and kitchen waste. Can you explain why our contractor is insisting that he also fits a grease trap for the kitchen waste and why he wants to put a plastic vent pipe up the side of the house please?"

A.The reason he wants to fit a grease trap is probably because the septic tank is going to be a long way from the house. If there is a long run of pipe, the grease can solidify and cause blockages before it reaches the tank. If the tank is near the house you should not need a grease trap.

A septic tank needs air to aid the biological action that breaks down the solids which is why there should be a vent pipe. The vent pipe can emit foul odours, especially in hot weather so having the end of the vent pipe well above the highest window of the house means that you should not be troubled with odours. If this is very expensive because of the distance from the tank to the house or if the plastic pipe would spoil the appearance of a period property an alternative would be to fit a filter on top of the pipe a short height above ground level near the tank. The filter will allow air to enter but will absorb the odours coming out. You will know when it needs to be replaced!

Chartered Valuation Surveyor & Building Pathologist

˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜

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At the time of writing we are having a mild February, lets hope this continues and that those freak snows of March and May 2010 really were the exceptions! Thankfully we have also just had some rain, the ground was very dry. Now is a good time to be getting out into the garden and starting on cutting back sub shrubby plants like Perovskias, Gauras, sages, ornamental grasses, lavateras and many other perennials; don't be afraid to cut them right back to the base - they will be bigger and bushier next year as a result. It-s also a good time to start to clear over and rake soil where you want to sow hardy annuals that will do well here; love in a mist, Californian poppies and larkspur for example. If you are a sweet pea fan then this is the moment to get them started in small pots in a cold greenhouse or veranda, ready to plant out in a few weeks time.

There are already lots of plants coming into flower. One of my favourite groups of plants for February and March are the hellebores. You may find the green flowered Helleborus foetidus growing wild in the area; of the cultivated hellebores one can choose from Helleborus niger (the so called Christmas rose), the Mediterranean native H argutifolius (syn corsicus) and the many lovely hybrids of H orientalis - these are available in pinks, creams, purples and many freckled flower selections. You may be able to find other species and hybrids available, there are some lovely rarer varieties. Hellebores will tolerate dry shade but do appreciate some organic material in the soil. To propagate them, named cultivars can be divided after flowering and species can be raised from seed. If you look carefully you may find that they self sow in your garden, look around your established clumps for the young plants.

At La Petite Pépinière we still have spaces on a one day course on Propagation on the 14th March; how to increase your own plants from seeds, layers, divisions and cuttings - we'll be covering theory but with plenty of practical work as well; for more info. We shall be reopening for the season from Friday 4th March, when our regular opening hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 10 to 18h and Sunday mornings from 10 to 12, or by appointment - just phone or email.

For any garden questions do feel free to get in touch by phone or email.

Gill Pound
La Petite Pépinière de Caunes
11160 Caunes-Minervois
04 68 79 43 81

"Hi Steve,
Our Seniors Club in Pépieux is looking for a couple to demonstrate ballroom and latin dancing on 15/16 May. Do you know of anyone, or would you please ask in the next flier if anyone in the area could help, please? We do British country dancing and French country dancing, and we know someone who can do salsa, but not ballroom. 
Thanking you in anticipation, 
Liz Jackson."

If you can help Liz please send her a

Hello Steve,
I don't know if you've heard, in dear ole Blighty the EU are trying to ban our Herbal Medicines, supplements etc. and we really need all the support we can get.Votes from expats will be most gratefully received and counted- there are a few campaigns going which will all join up I am sure. This onehas reached 75,000 and looking to reach 100,000 and beyond - I'm sure if everyone

on the list here voted and even if some are able to carry this forward to others,it would be a victory against those planning and controlling our lives in the EU. Let us stick together (Freddie Mercury) www.causes.comI hope you can find some space in your next flyer for this really important cause.
All the best

Hi there,
My other half loves his horseracing and betting. The problem is now that you cannot have an online account for horseracing, if you live in France and dont have a UK address! He has a uk bank account and a uk debit card but you have to have a uk address for some reason. Is there anyone out there who knows of a way to bet on line from here please. Hope you can ask your 3000+ readers.
regards Janet

If you can help Janet please send her a mail

for between Flyer updates...
17th - 19th March, British Beer Festival, 
"Le Carpe Diem" in Cornerbarrieu,Toulouse
We are pleased to announce that this year's British Beer Festival will be held Thursday 17th March (1800hrs) till Saturday 19th, at "Le Carpe Diem" in Cornerbarrieu. This year you're especially lucky as not only is 17th March St Patricks Day, but on Saturday 19th March we have the final day of the six-nations rugby fixtures with Scotland v Italy (early afternoon), Ireland v England (late afternoon), France v Wales (eve).

We will of course aim to match last year's extensive range of prize winning real ale's (15 in 2010) with a mixture of old favourites as well as introducing some new delectations for your taste buds. We'll also have some traditional, and ever popular, cider.

Please contact us if you'd like any more information, or if you would be interested in sponsoring a barrel for your enterprise or company.

And of course feel free to forward this mail to anyone else you may feel would be interested!

Recipe - Scallop Soup Sauvage 
(for 8 people.)
Today's recipe is brought to you by Caryl Panman from Chateau Rives Blanques. 
"One of France's most fascinating appellations ... there is real value here both in still and sparkling"
Jancis Robinson Financial Times

This recipe could have been invented for WC Fields ("I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food"), and is so simple, and easy and delicious that I don#39;t know why I am sharing it. Plus, it is also good for you. The important thing is to have really fresh scallops. The other important thing is do not under any circumstances substitute a tart, crispy Sauvignon blanc for a rich, mellow, barrel-vinified one, otherwise it really won't work. The measurements are approximate and can be adjusted to taste.

4 cups chicken broth
1½ cups clam broth
1 cup Sauvageon 
½ cup Lagremas d'Aur (the Rives#45;Blanques late harvested sweet wine ... you can finish the bottle with the cheese) or Mirin (Japanese sweet sake)
1 large or 2-3 small scallops per person
2 tbs finely sliced spring onions
Toasted sesame seeds
Salt & Pepper to taste.
About ½ tsp finely julienned fresh ginger

Bring the broths, wine, and ginger to the boil. In the meantime, slice the fresh scallops paper thin and place them in the bottom of warmed soup bowls. Sprinkle sesame seeds over them. Top with the spring onion. Check the seasoning of the boiling broth/wine, and pour over the scallops while still piping hot (this cooks the scallops). Serve immediately, with a glass of Sauvageon.

The wine: Sauvageon is the "wild one", a sauvignon blanc from Rives-Blanques, which Jancis Robinson rightly described as being "a million miles from Marlborough".,pSauvageon is actually the origin of the word Sauvignon, originally used to describe the grapes that grew wild in the South West of France even before the Greeks and Romans got here. Gold medalist of the Great Wines of Languedoc, and applauded by the top French wine critics, this Sauvageon gives a completely different perspective of what a Sauvignon blanc can taste like. You could try substituting it in this recipe with a barrel-vinified sauvignon blanc from South Africa.

"" is a homestay community that has members all over the world. Crashpadder hosts earn extra money from their spare space, and travellers save money on expensive hotels and avoid the discomfort of hostels - by staying with a friendly local. 
You can register your Gites and Chambre d'hotes on the site by following the logo link.

The Flyer Short Story/Long Letter Competition

This is the seventh of hopefully a regular series of short stories/long letters to the Editor, keep it around 500 words about strange things that have happened to you. You chose the subject matter.

Go on you know you want to!Just send it in, it can be published anonymously, unless it takes off and there is a prize for the best at then of 2011, then you may have to admit to Flyer readers who you are.

The Anonymous Australian Angel
By N. Blake Mills a Travel tale of a local.

The muddy city bus acted like a magnet to my brand spanking new rental car. It felt like it sucked the whole left side of my car dragging it down over its plastered portraits of TV news anchors. Time slackened. All I could think about was the odd sound of the car crinkling like a plastic milk bottle, not of steel crunching. Try as I might, I could not turn the steering wheel away to the right. The car ended up half on the curb, smack in front of the loaded Sydney commuter bus in the sweltering evening rush hour. Dang, why don't they drive on the correct side of the road?

I tried to ignore the hot, tired Australians grumbling as I stepped onto the bus to hand the driver my documents. Shaking his head in disgust, he jotted down my information, gave me his information, and mumbled "damn Yank" under his breath as I stepped down and headed back to my much maligned car. It looked OK to drive so I slid into the right side driver's seat and slammed the door. I laid my head back and let out a heavy sigh of relief mentally patting myself on the back for staying so calm and cool through my first accident ever in thirty years of driving. In the first hour in a foreign country I successfully negotiated through an accident. A knock on my window interrupted my mental swagger. I looked up and saw a grey haired gentleman beckoning me to roll the window down.

"Are you all right, dearie?" he says as he poked his head down to eye level. I was...until I heard the loving voice of concern. I melt and tears slide down slowly at first then erupt like a volcano in gulps, coughs and hiccups.

"Yeessss" my shoulders shuddering in embarrassment. I am

unable to control my car and now unable to control my emotions. "Come on, old girl. I'll buy you a cup of coffee. You need to take some time to calm down. The car's alright parked here. Come on, mate, out you go.",

"But the car..." I sputter. It is blocking the bus, which is blocking traffic. The cop is holding up his hand to the traffic and signaling the bus driver who is trying to wedge it back and forth and out. I look up and see the passengers waving, but only with one of their fingers.

I waddled right behind this stranger like a new born duckling afraid of losing his mother. We find a sidewalk café. He orders us two cappuccinos and proceeds to talk about anything but the car sitting cockeyed across the street.

Finally, I am calm enough to venture back. He gives me directions to the hotel but can tell they are not registering. He insists on going with me. He gets into the back seat of the car on the right side since the damaged doors won't open on the passenger's side. He must be crazy to get into this crashed car and have this weepy American woman drive. He calmly points the way to the Sheraton. We pull under the awning and he jumps out and yells at the two gawking young valets.

"Call Avis and tell them to bring a new car around. She is in no shape to drive back to the airport. Tell them they must bring a car over NOW. She is not to drive this. Go on."

He starts to walk away from me and the car. "Hey wait!" I hasten after him. "Thank you ever so much. I would like to buy you dinner or a Foster's or something."

"Nah, old girl. (I wish he would stop calling me that.) You don't owe me anything. I traveled in your country on a Harley years ago down your eastern seaboard and you Yanks were so nice and helpful to me. I can only return the favor. G'day."

He literally walked off into the sunset. I tell the valets I will wait in the hotel bar for the Avis rep, scurrying after a much needed ice cold brew.
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
Vendredi 25 Février 
Pexiora (Salon broderies et parch) 
Samedi 26 Février 
Coursan (Vide grenier) 
Pexiora (Salon broderies et parch) 
Saverdun (Vide greniers, marché aux puces.) 
Dimanche 27 Février 
Lézignan-Corbières (Vide grenier brocante) 
Pexiora (Salon broderies et parch) 
Villesequelande (Bourse d'échanges Carcas'sel) 
Pamiers (Puces et Brocante) 
Samedi 5 Mars 
Coursan (Vide grenier) 
Port Leucate (Vide grenier, puces, brocante) 
Pamiers (Marché de Brocante) 
Saverdun (Vide greniers, marché aux puces.) 
Dimanche 6 Mars 
Belpech (Vide Grenier) 
Caunes-Minervois (Vide grenier) 
Lézignan-Corbières (Vide grenier brocante) 
Limoux (Brocante) 
Peyriac-Minervois (Foire et vide grenier du rugby feminin laure asc) 
Plavilla (Vide greniers/brocante) 
Mazères (Vide grenier) 
Pamiers (Puces et Brocante) 
Saint-Lizier (Vide grenier)
On a Lighter note - This should be taken seriously!!!
Alcohol Labels Just Like Cigarettes
Liquor manufacturers have accepted the Government's suggestion that the following warning labels be placed immediately on all varieties of alcohol containers:

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what thehell happened to your bra and panties.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you arewhispering When you are not.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like aretard.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friendsover And over again that you love them.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe thatex-lovers Are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logicallyConverse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you areTougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people areLaughing WITH you.

WARNING:The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy.

WARNING:The consumption of alcohol may be a major factor in gettingyour Ass kicked.

WARNING: the crumsumpten of alcohol may Mack you tink you kan tpye reelGode.

Pass this to all your friends if you feel they may be in danger.

What's On

MAMMA MIA to 28 Feb Theatre Mogador Paris
VENICE CARNIVAL 26 Feb - 8 Mar Venice
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE 3 Mar Bikini Toulouse
STEVE LUKATHER 10 Mar Bikini Toulouse
KYLIE MINOGUE 11Mar Zenith Toulouse
KATIE MELUA 20 Mar Zenith Toulouse
CARMINA BURANA21 Mar Zenith Toulouse
MOGWAI22 Mar Bikini Toulouse
MACEO PARKER 23 Mar Bikini Toulouse
THE DO 25 Mar Bikini Toulouse
WOODY ALLEN 2 apr Grand Rex Paris
GOSPEL POUR 100 VOIX 2 Apr Zenith Toulouse

4 Apr Zenith Toulouse
JOAN BAEZ 5 Apr Zenith Toulouse
STATUS QUO 7 Apr Zenith toulouse,
TOQUES ET CLOCHERS 16 and 17 Apr Limoux
23 Apr to 1 May La-Franqu Leucate
THE YOUNG GODS 19 May Bikini Toulouse
YUSEF ISLAM 26 May Bercy Paris
PULP May 27 Primavera Sound Barcelona
BALKAN BEAT BOX 2 Jun Bikini Toulouse
SOL Y FIESTA 2-4 Jun Leucate
2 to 5 Jun Haute Vallée de l'Aude
PROMAUDE 10 to 14 Jun Lézignan-Corbiere
SHAKIRA 14 Jun Paris Bercy
JUDAS PRIEST 20 Jun Zenith Paris
ROGER WATERS - THE WALL LIVE 30 Jun Palais omnisports de Paris
JOURNEY & FOREIGNER 7 Jul Palais des Sports Paris Coldplay, Amy Winehouse, Crystal Castles, The Chemical Brothers, Jack Johnson and The Black Crowes 7 to 9 Jul Bilbao
SANTANA 18 Jul Nimes arena
PORTISHEAD 19 Jul Nimes arena
ALICE COOPER 5 Nov Zenith Toulouse
CHARLES AZNAVOUR 12/13 Nov Zenith Toulouse
SCORPIONS 17 Nov Zenith Toulouse
Aude & Ariege Flyer Links Page
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