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Curtain Up ! A theatre debuts in Avignon


The theater takes it’s name from the address, at 9 rue Racine

A new, 50-seat theater will open in mid-January in the heart of Avignon, in an 1875 hotel particulier just behind the Opera House, just off the Place Horloge.
Called Theatre Le 9 Avignon, the venue will host a range of performances including classical music, cabaret, comedy and small-cast plays. Arnaud Lanez, communications director of the Avignon Opera, has signed on as the “conseiller artistique.”
The first, “toe-in-the-water” season launches January 12 with a free performance of Les Notes et Des Mots, a three-person evening of music, song and poetry by Tatiana Probst, Barbara Probst and Francois Lambret. The schedule then continues until July–when the space will be rented out for the Avignon Theater Festival–and starts up again in fall.
To call the Theatre Le 9 a very-personal labor of love would be a wild understatement. Owner/director Hilary IMG_5615 - CopyLemaire conceived the project and chooses all the shows; her husband Jean-Pierre Lemaire, literally built the theater and the beautiful home that surrounds it.  “I always loved the idea of living above the shop!” Hilary says. When you arrive for a performance, don’t be surprised if it’s Hilary or Jean-Pierre who greet you at the door, take your coat and usher you into your red-velvet seat.
For Hilary, the theater is the culmination of a life spent in theater, both on the stage and behind the scenes.
For Jean-Pierre, an “idea guy” and an experienced master builder, this was an important renovation project for his most-important client yet: his wife.
Hilary calls herself London Irish: “born in London but proud of my Irish heritage.” She trained in theatre at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (London) and went on to marry a jazz musician. “It was a cool but not very lucrative career,” she says, “and one of us had to pay the rent.” Hilary found work as a teacher but the marriage didn’t last; she transitioned into journalism and became features editor of Campaign, a journal for the advertising industry. There she met her second husband and together they embarked on what Hilary calls “an amazing adventure,” which, thanks to his job with Heinz, gave them ten wonderful years in Asia.
In Japan, Hilary rekindled her theater career, working for–and eventually running–Tokyo Theatre for Children. She was also involved in community theater, as both an actor and a director.
After four years the couple moved to Hong Kong, where Hilary performed in a professional, English-speaking theatre company and eventually created her own company, presenting cabaret performances. She also wrote a series of touring murder-mystery shows.
15665584_1864520257127581_556321265802769465_n - CopyWhen retirement beckoned, the couple settled in Antibes on the French Riviera, which they had always loved. There Hilary created The Red Pear Theatre, presenting more than 150 shows with artists drawn from London, Dublin and the US. She also designed and led a workshop program that brought actors into the classrooms of five local international schools.  Actors were in and out of their home constantly, with Hilary often donating proceeds from their performances to Educating Cambodia, an organization she still supports.
After a long illness, Hilary’s husband passed away in 2010. “There was a period of adjustment,” she says, “and then it was time to turn the page.”
Hilary met Jean-Pierre in Antibes when a friend sent him over to help her with an electrical problem. “He rang the bell and it was a coup de foudre,” she told me. Eventually the couple decided to move to Avignon and set out to find the perfect building, one that would lend itself to the unusual combination of home and theater. “The estate agent showed us everything he thought would appeal,” she recalls, “but nothing did, of course. Then he mentioned a house that had just come on the market but needed way too much work. Jean-Pierre was looking for a challenge, wanting to create something very special. He looked at the rabbit warren of tiny rooms, the pigeons, the mess and then at me; he saw me smiling and we both said, ‘yep, this is it.’”
The house had gorgeous bones and a fine pedigree but was a total ruin. While Jean-Pierre isn’t exactly an architect, engineer or contractor, he does all those things and more: electrical, woodworking, cabinetmaking, plumbing. (Hilary calls him “a creator of buildings who has the ideas and the skills to realize them.”) And so he set to work making Hilary’s dream house. He evacuated 265 tons of rubble and 40 tons of wood…and built an entirely new house within the old walls. Wiring the building took nine kilometres of cable; he went through 400 sacks of plaster at 30 kilos each.
“And I did it all with 20 tons of amour,” he says.
Today the house has reception rooms and the jewel-box of a theater on the ground floor, with living areas above. In the reception rooms, Hilary will be showing artwork, clothing and jewelry from artisans she loves. A large, terraced courtyard garden will be used for drinks at intermission and post-show mingling with performers.
“The goal was to restore the home to what it had been…but with modern ideas,” Hilary says. “For example, I wanted the garden to have a Japanese element.  I lived in Asia ten years and loved the contrapunto idea of blending modern, classic and Aisan influences. Some of my furniture comes from those years and I wanted the garden to be a zen experience.”
A private launch party on December 20, with three performances, built the buzz around town and gave Hilary the chance to test her sound and lighting in front of a packed house. “Arnaud from the Opera proclaimed the acoustics ‘perfect,’ she says proudly.
Performances will be international…some in French, others in English. Hilary says her years with Red Pear in Antibes “will bear fruit” while many of her heavy-weight London theatre-world friends have agreed to perform as well. To draw younger performers and theatre-goers, there will be a Master Class program and connections are being forged with local universities. Certain performances will be fundraisers for Educating Cambodia.
So what’s on? The debut season launches with Les Notes et Des Mots, for one night only, on January 12. Tickets are free (limit two per person) and can be reserved by email or phone (see contact info below).
On Monday Feb 13, Hilary presents Love Letters, with Anne Reid and James Bolam. Reid is an English stage,

Anne Reid will perform on 13th and 14th February

Anne Reid will perform on 13th and 14th February

film and TV actress known for the soap opera Coronation Street (1961–71); the sitcom Dinnerladies (1998–2000), and her BAFTA-nominated role as Celia Dawson in Last Tango in Halifax (2012–16).

The next night (Feb 14), Reid will perform My Funny Valentine, a cabaret show in English created for this venue with Jason Carr, a two-time Tony Award-nominated pianist. “Anne came to Antibes and happened to mention that all she’d ever really wanted to do is cabaret,” Hilary explains. “I said ‘just give me a date!’ She went back to London, found a musical director and returned a year later with her first cabaret show. Since then she’s done cabaret in New York and London…she absolutely loves it. It means so much to me that me that she’s coming!”
On Friday March 24, there will be a concert of arias with soprano Julie Roset and pianist Helene Blanic. Roset recently won a competition sponsored by the Avignon Opera and as part of her prize, Hilary provided funding to continue her studies. This concert is her thank you. “Julie is delightfully expressive and has an infectious personality,” Hilary reports. “Having that in this intimate setting will be wonderful. I can’t wait to have her on our stage!”
On Friday April 28, look for a concert by the eight students of a one-week Master Class with soprano Francoise Pollet. (“Francoise is the diva,” Hilary proclaims. “To her, you bow down.”) The performance will be the culmination of the students’ week-long training.
Friday May 26 there will be a two-person dramatic evening with Pierre Rochefort and another actor to be named soon.
On June 29 and 30, the first season wraps with Tom Crean:Antarctic Explorer, a one-man show in English, written and perfomed by Adrian Dooley. Crean was the only member of Shackleton’s crew to go with him three times to the South Pole; Hilary describes the work as “pure magic…the best one- man show I’ve ever presented.”
Theatre Le 9 is located at 9, rue Racine, just off the Place Horloge. The website is still under construction but info on all performances is on the Facebook page here. For info and reservations: +33 (0)4 84 14 27 28,

Is Your Tax and Wealth Management in shape for 2017?

It is that time of the year when many people make New Year resolutions to improve their life in one way or another.  Whether or not you make resolutions, this is a good time to consider whether you need to review your financial planning. Continue reading Is Your Tax and Wealth Management in shape for 2017?

New routes from Ryanair confirmed

Andrew Cowan (Manchester Airports Group) and David O'Brien (Ryanair) announcing a new growth deal at London Stansted Airport.

Andrew Cowan (Manchester Airports Group) and David O’Brien (Ryanair) announcing a new growth deal at London Stansted Airport.

Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, announced on January 12th a new growth deal with Manchester Airports Group (MAG) which will deliver 9 new London Stansted routes, including a daily service to Naples and a three times daily service to Copenhagen, as well as routes to Beziers, Cagliari, Clermont, Grenoble, Nice, Nimes and Strasbourg, extra flights on 13 existing routes, and over 20m customers p.a., supporting 15,000* jobs at London Stansted Airport.





Ryanair’s extended London Stansted summer 2017 schedule will deliver:

  • 9 new routes to:  Beziers (3 wkly), Cagliari (3 wkly), Clermont (2 wkly), Grenoble (3 wkly), Nice (daily), Nimes (4 wkly) & Strasbourg (2 wkly),  Naples (daily), Copenhagen (3 daily),
  • More flights to:  Bergerac (2 daily), Biarritz (11 wkly), Bordeaux (daily), Carcasonne (12 wkly) Dinard (daily), La Rochelle (daily), Lamezia (5 wkly), Limoges (10 wkly), Lourdes (5 wkly), Marseille (12 wkly), Perpignan (9 wkly) Toulouse (2 daily) & Porto (16 wkly)
  • 140 routes in total
  • Over 20m customers p.a.
  • Over 15,000* “on-site” jobs p.a.

In London, Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer David O’Brien said:

“We are pleased to announced a new growth deal with Manchester Airports Group at London Stansted Airport, which enables Ryanair to add 9 new London Stansted routes this summer, including a daily flight to Naples and a three times daily service to Copenhagen, ryanair-aircraft-(3)increase frequency on 13 existing routes and deliver over 20m annual customers this year. Having grown our London Stansted traffic from 13.2m in 2013 to over 20m this year, this new deal will allow Ryanair to continue to expand our route network at Stansted, our largest European base.  

 To celebrate our new growth deal and 9 new London Stansted routes, we are releasing seats for sale across our European network from just £19.99, which are available for booking until Tuesday (17 Jan). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto and avoid missing out.”

 Divisional CEO at London Stansted, Andrew Cowan said:

“Today’s announcement by Ryanair is fantastic news for Stansted Airport and passengers from across the east of England and London. Ryanair is an important and valued partner for us at Stansted and we’re delighted to support the airline’s exciting expansion plans for the summer, which will help ensure Stansted remains one of the UK’s fastest growing airports and see us serve well over 25 million passengers a year within the next 12 months.  

Stansted sits at the heart of one of the UK’s most innovative and rapidly developing growth corridors between London and Cambridge, so the new destinations and increase in flights on key routes will offer passengers and businesses even more choice at great value. This builds on the strength of Ryanair’s extensive network at Stansted that now serves 140 destinations from the airline’s largest base in Europe.”


Copenhagen 3 x daily April
Naples 1 x daily July
Beziers 3 x weekly July
Cagliari 3 x weekly April
Clermont 2 x weekly July
Grenoble 3 x weekly July
Nice 1 x daily July
Nimes 4 x weekly April
Strasbourg 2 x weekly July


Bergerac 2 x daily
Biarritz 11 x weekly
Bordeaux 1 x daily
Carcasonne 12 x weekly
Dinard 1 x daily
La Rochelle 1 x daily
Lamezia 5 x weekly
Limoges 10 x weekly
Lourdes 5 x weekly
Marseille 12 x weekly
Perpignan 9 x weekly
Porto 16 x weekly
Toulouse 2 x daily


The `Winter Fuel Payment

by Brian Cave

Roger Boaden who has working so very hard on getting this restored. I hope that you will react and send the mail as requested.

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 16.23.31I have an urgent appeal from Roger Boaden to our members who registered on the European Parliament’s PETI website to signify support for Roger’s Petition to the Parliament’s Committee on Petitions on the Winter Fuel Payment removal.
It seems as though the EU petitions secretariat are washing their hands of Britain – BUT we are still part of the EU for the next two years+





Dear PETI  – Messieurs & Mesdames,

REF: Petition 0085/2015 agenda item 48

I wish to register a complaint 

Yesterday the PETI Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament published a draft agenda.  Roger’s Petition concerning the Winter Fuel Payment is scheduled for closure by the Committee.Petition 0085/2015 agenda item 48

The agenda item states that this is based on an opinion from the Commission and other documents received.  Roger’s most recent submission showed clearly that the Commission’s opinion was wrong and full of errors, and yet someone in this important Committee of the European Parliament has decided not to continue.

Many other Petitions show the number of supporting signatories – there is no such indication for Roger’s Petition.  At the latest count, there were 341 signatories supporting this Petition from several countries – not an insignificant number.  Why is this not recorded?

Please call for it to be examined in more detail, by allowing Roger, and others, to make a presentation to the Committee.

Yours sincerely


Manish’s Zodiac Signs Predictions for February 2017

aquarius_symbolAquarius ( 20 January – 18 February ) – This period represents a time of submission, perhaps things will not be moving quickly enough for you in something you are interested in or trying to achieve. Your own values or way of expressing love and affection may differ from someone you encounter now. You gain what you want through diplomacy or charm and by enlisting the support of your friends, rather than by being forthright and bold. You are willing to make concessions in order to maintain harmony in your environment. Letting go of other people’s expectations will unleash an inner confidence. Follow your own star and let associates fend for themselves. Favorable Dates : Feb 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favorable Colors : Purple & White

Pisces ( 19 February – 20 March ) – This is an exciting time of growth and opportunity for you. This period suggests a possible new era for the things you are involved in, that they have the possibility to expand and grow.  You are advised not rushing anything but taking things step by step as they evolve, to seek out help and guidance, and to stay true to your goal even if people think you might not achieve it. Sharing and comparing your spiritual, religious, or philosophical interests with a friend or loved one may open up a whole new dimension of your relationship.If single,you may have better chances finding love while traveling, doing adventurous things, or furthering your education. Favorable Dates : Feb 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favorable Colors : Purple & White

Aries ( 21 March – 19 April ) – A pleasant, affectionate, relaxed, or courteous attitude eases your interactions now, and may open doors or help lighten troubled situations that you’ve been working with lately. You can attract what you want and need, rather than pursue it forcefully or do it all yourself. This is an excellent time to go out on a date or ask someone for a favor, because you make a decidedly positive impression at the moment. A strong need for harmony, affection, approval or belongingness colors your attitude and decisions now. You’re inclined to use charm, gentle coaxing, and loving persuasion rather than more direct, forceful methods to get what you want.Favorable Dates : Feb 5, 7, 14, 16, 23, 25 Favorable Colors : Green & White

Taurus ( 20 April – 20 May ) – A very easy-going and easy energy is with you now. You’re in a friendly and cooperative mood which brings ease to your interactions and an overall sense of harmony to your day. Since you are open to love and friendly gestures, you will attract loving people into your experience. The erotic potential is very high, you’ll be tempted in this direction, but prudence forces you to think first. You are endowed with a sort of maturity that helps you bring discipline among your impulses. Work is a scurry of activity in the last week of the month, and this period also favors stepping up physical activity or health routines. Favorable Dates : Feb 1, 2, 10, 11, 19, 20 Favorable Colors : Yellow & White

Gemini ( 21 May – 20 June ) – Any project that you’re currently working on will take you far. This is the best time to use your abilities to solve a certain problem in the present. There is a way to get a lot of people to help you – keep them inspired and ensure that your project brings something to them also. You are really good at delegating and it is an indication of maturity.  This is a great sign of your improving while on the path to success. Your own values or way of expressing love and affection may differ from someone you encounter now, but because you are willing to please and smooth over differences, all is apt to turn out well.Favorable Dates : Feb 2, 6, 11, 15, 20, 24 Favorable Colors : Green & Blue

Cancer ( 21 June – 22 July ) – You’re inclined to use sweetness, charm, sex appeal, or flirtatiousness to ease interactions. You’re also quite conscious of your body and appearance now and you may buy some new apparel, get your hair done, wear your best jewellery or otherwise enhance your looks or surroundings. Relationships begun now are intense, all-consuming, emotionally-charged, deep, possibly stormy and characterized by possessiveness, obsession, or power games; passionate and erotic. Opening the lines of communication, taking short trips with each other, getting out and about, sending emails and otherwise making contact, taking a light-hearted and playful approach to love will provide happiness. Favorable Dates : Feb 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favorable Colors : Red & White 

Leo  ( 23 July – 22 August ) – You are easily engrossed by special subjects and projects this month, and eagerly throw yourself into learning and producing. Finances, taxes, and intimacy are main themes for the first two weeks of the month, A love relationship reaches new depths of understanding. You are also very busy with research and investigations of all kinds. You’re in a friendly and cooperative mood which brings ease to your interactions and an overall sense of harmony to your day. Because you are open to love and friendly gestures, you will attract loving people into your experience. Favorable Dates : Feb 2, 8, 11, 17, 20, 26 Favorable Colors : Yellow & White

Virgo ( 23 August – 22 September ) – A strong need for harmony, affection, approval or belongingness colors your attitude and decisions now. Overall this is likely to bring ease and engender positive feelings in your interactions and personal relationships, but in a situation in which you need to move forcefully on your own behalf it could work against you. Your ability to rationalize and slip into another person’s shoes could help boost a partnership. The need for challenges, whether these are mental or physical, becomes palpable from the 17th forward. A travel, publishing, creative, or educational opportunity falls into your lap in the last week of the month. Favorable Dates : Feb 1, 4, 10, 13, 19, 22 Favorable Colors : Green & White

Libra ( 23 September – 22 October ) – This is perhaps the most favorable time of the year to enhance an existing relationship. This period can represent a return to a familiar environment or to a childhood place. A teenage sweetheart or past lover may turn up again. Allow yourself positive, nostalgic memories of childhood, friends and family. Your love light shines brightly now and you wish to please and be pleased, to give and receive a personal, loving touch. Both romance and friendship are enhanced by warm expressions of appreciation, affection, and treats. Your sensitivity to aesthetics is heightened as well and anything ugly or impersonal will bother you more than usual.Favorable Dates : Feb 1, 8, 10, 17, 19, 26 Favorable Colors : Yellow &White

Scorpio ( 23 October – 21 November ) – This is not a time to push yourself or to be involved in activities that require intense competition or a great expenditure of energy. A pleasant, affectionate, relaxed, or courteous attitude eases your interactions now, and  may open doors or help lighten troubled situations that you’ve been working with lately. You can attract what you want and need, rather than pursue it forcefully or do it all yourself. This period can work magic on your intimate and sexual relationships. Sexual opportunities are likely to abound, or your focus on one partner becomes more expansive, warm, and intimate. Your lovemaking is bound to become more passionate. Favorable Dates : Feb 1, 8, 10, 17, 19, 26 Favorable Colors : Yellow & White

Sagittarius( 22 November – 21 December ) – This period heralds an opportunity to make a new start with secure foundations upon which you can build a more reliable and longer lasting environment for yourself, which is a positive step forward.Make the most of any new opportunities which come your way.You will have an abundance of happiness, a harvest a-plenty, as a result of your own hard work, patience and endurance.  Enjoy this lovely period of happiness, gratitude and joy. In romance, that special person you are hoping to date might have several suitors. Even if this is the case, go for it with all your might. You will have to know you did everything you could to win over this person, because your heart is in it.  Favorable Dates : Feb 4, 8, 13, 17, 22, 26 Favorable Colors : Yellow & Blue

Capricorn ( 22 December – 19 January ) – The first part of the month for you is likely to move quite slowly in terms of your desires, but the more serene and calm you go about your life, the more you will benefit from your endeavours. Flexibility is going to be your best friend this month. Friends and family clamor for your attention. Demands at work place you squarely in charge, and abrupt changes require you to think on your feet. Enhancing love now is the theme. If you have a relationship right now, it might just get better very soon. You and your love will connect to each other again. Stay positive and have as much fun as possible. Favorable Dates : Feb 4, 7, 13, 16, 22, 25 Favorable Colors : Yellow  & Red

Manish Ad Nov16


Provence for special-needs children and adults

by Julie Mautner

I recently came across a company called Go Provence, offering “supported holidays” for kids and adults with learning disabilities, autism and other challenges. The goal is to provide stimulating, fun and safe vacations for all ages in the South of France…and I think what they’re doing is fantastic.

Grimaud1 - CopyGo Provence was founded in 2010 by British expats Ian Callen, Anna Callen and Neil Manser. While they cater primarily to clients from the UK, they’ve had guests come from elsewhere in Europe and from the US as well.
Based near the Gorges du Verdon, in a spectacularly beautiful part of Provence, Go Provence offers all-inclusive themed holidays that mix outdoor adventure, excursions and relaxation.
For those who need it, they can even accompany clients to and from the UK.  There are also off-season trips, such as a learn-to-ski trip in Andorra in January, 2017 (more on that below) and a trip to Italy in October, 2017.
Dates for all 2017 trips have just been posted on the company’s website here.  Themes include Wildlife IMG_9524_640x427Photography, Trekking, Wolf Tracking, World Cuisine, Great Adventure, Music Week,  Art Holiday, Discover Provence, Water Holiday, Great Adventure and School of Rock.

There will be also be a special week in Provence designed for people who use wheelchairs. How great is that?

Kayaking - CopyGo Provence also creates customized, private holidays for four people or more.
For family members and full-time carers who choose to stay in Provence at the same time, Go Provence will happily arrange accommodation nearby, in the village of Esparron de Verdon.
Ian and Anna Callen have lived in Provence, near the Gorges du Verdon, since 2007; they have three children. Ian worked previously at The Olive Tree International School in nearby Quinson, teaching photography, horticulture, conservation, biology and astronomy to children with challenging behaviour. There’s a very nice story about him here.
Anna also has a background in teaching children, particularly those with dyslexia and challenging behavior. She formerly worked for the local Tourist Office and knows the area exceedingly well.
Neil has lived in France for 20 years after having worked with special-need kids in the UK and with special-need adults in Malaysia. His training is in social care, epilepsy and Midazolam, safeguarding vulnerable IMG_4746_640x427adults and the Mental Capacity Act. Neil is the Go Provence chef and lives near St. Tropez.
All the Go Provence staff are fully bi-lingual (French and English) and experienced and first-aid trained to a Red Cross standard. The facility is registered with a local doctor and nurse and has access to nearby hospitals.
For those interested in an active winter getaway, Go Provence is offering a five-night learn-to-ski holiday in Catalan-speaking Andorra in January. Guests will fly from Gatwick to Toulouse, France on January 8, then travel by mini bus to the beautiful Pyrenean village of Arinsal, set 1467m above sea level. They’ll stay (full board) at the Hotel Solana for five nights, enjoying five days at ski school with fully qualified instructors, ski gear and boarding passes included. Support will be on hand 24/7; the trip is €2090 per person.  The registration deadline for the ski trip is October 24 and it only happens if there are five guests IMG_4264_640x427or more. More on the ski trip is here.
Heading into their seventh year with Go Provence, Ian says the team feels enormous pride in what they’ve helped their clients accomplish.
“We love seeing them achieve their goals,” he tells me. “We had a client Ed, a great photographer who had won awards for his work but couldn’t find anyone to give him an exhibition. We were able to arrange a show for him in a local restaurant. We had an opening evening, the local press turned up and Ed sold five photos.  As you can imagine, he was a very happy man.”
Just around the time I was writing this, Ian emailed to tell me about his newest offering, a program called Travel Buddies, providing travel planning support and travel companions for a wide range of destinations. And in the months to come, Go Provence plans to add supported backpacking holidays around Europe, a Northern Lights holiday in Sweden and volunteer holidays in developing countries.
“We want to change the way that people with special needs travel…and increase their opportunities to do artisits_640x427so…to the point where access to travel becomes standard,” Ian says. “Travel is so important to ones sense of happiness! A friend of mine, who worked in a hospice sitting with terminally ill people during their last days, once told me that when people looked back at their lives and talked about their regrets, they didn’t mention money or careers. He said that they wished they had spent more time with their family and friends…and that they had traveled more.”
For more info, photos, mailing list sign-up and other details, visit the website here. Ian also writes a blog about the Gorges du Verdon, which you can see here.
Previously published in the Provence Post

Practicalities of Brexit for employees

by David Anderson 

This article is for general information only. You should only act or refrain from acting after receiving full professional advice on the facts of your particular case. This article is for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Always consult an IFA.

There is a conflict of interest between employers considering relocating staff to other EU countries and their employees. From an employer’s perspective it is probably best to wait as long as possible before taking action. This is because interim arrangements regarding Brexit may mean moves can be delayed for years or may not need to happen. This avoids costs and disruption. The timing of any move will probably also matter much more to the employee than the employer because of children’s schooling.


For employees affected the opposite is probably the case especially if the move is to a major city such as Paris. The likely timing of the Brexit notice at the end of March 2017 will be particularly unhelpful for moves in the early summer of 2017.

Paris tends to be quieter from late July through until early September. This means the window for any initial transfer of employees is only three and a half months. Anyone seeking to deal with relocation in Paris will is likely to find people on holiday from the middle of July and through August frustrating.


Schools for children will be a high priority. Parents will be reluctant to disrupt their children’s education and French language state schools will in most cases not be appropriate. Places at international schools in the wealthier areas are already very limited and in most cases the planning will involve a move in the summer so children start their new school in September 2017. Competition is already intense for places at the best international schools and applications should really be made in early January 2017.

Despite what the Parisian education authorities say about more places being created, the discerning and cynical may think places and related fees will escalate if a rush starts say in April 2017 once the Brexit notice is served.

Rental Accommodation

Good quality rental accommodation will become an issue if well paid arrivals are all competing for similar flats in the same areas at the same time. This will push up rental prices in the late spring and early summer. Other ancillary removal costs will also escalate.

Prime property prices

Property prices in areas in which foreigners want to live are already moving up and this trend will continue once anecdotal evidence of well off new arrivals spreads. Parisian estate agents think in terms of euros per square metre. They are well aware the price per square metre in prime London areas is much higher than in Paris. Their likely thought process will be that new arrivals from London selling London flats will be in a position to pay more.

Work and residency permits

Work permits may become an issue though these will probably be resolved by the employer. However there will remain issues relating to permits for other members of the employee’s family who also move.

David Anderson

Sykes Anderson Perry Limited    + 44 203 794 5959


What do your stars say for January ???


images-1Capricorn (22 December – 19 January ) – This month can stimulate your desire for adventure and a taste for the exotic. Long-distance romance can be a lure and can stimulate much desire and passion. A creative project can come to a head, or a love affair can blossom. This month boosts your natural magnetic appeal. You are in your element and others tend to be taking note. When you follow your heart and do what you love, even the most difficult challenges can be easier to get through. Friends, colleagues, your partner or a co-worker can step up to offer support – be open to accept their friendship. Favorable Dates : Jan 2, 6, 11, 15, 21, 23 Favorable Colors : Red & Blue

Aquarius (20 January – 18 February)  - You have been drifting between too many different tasks within your career but maybe you have been trying to do the impossible. Take stock of what you are able to do and concentrate on the smallest details. Only then you will be able to move forward with the job at hand. The need for challenges, whether these are mental or physical, becomes palpable from the 16th forward. Watch for conversations that can be heated this month, particularly those revolving around money, and extra care and sensitivity are required. Favorable Dates : Jan 2, 7, 11, 16, 20, 25 Favorable Colors : Red & Yellow

Pisces (19 February – 20 March) - Pay attention to your instincts and whether it’s love or work, move forward with confidence. This month brings a chance for a new personal beginning, so that if you are looking to reinvent yourself, this is the time to share yourself in an all-new way,  particularly in the last week of the month. Get ready to gear up at work with business that has been put on hold. A project can pick up speed and money matters are lighter and brighter too. There are some peaceful times ahead this month when old disputes finally settle and everyone works to their own agenda.  Favorable Dates : Jan 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favorable Colors : Red & Blue

Aries ( 21 March – 19 April ) – Discussions or negotiations at work and with business can get going now, but don’t rush into anything. Finances, taxes, and intimacy are main themes that you’ll be encountering this month. At first glance, the month may not seem to be as productive as most, but in fact you are building your nest, gathering your resources, and preparing for busier months ahead. Circumstances are such that you may be considering a big move or other change that affects your domestic life in powerful ways. Try as much as possible to simplify by focusing on one opportunity at a time. Favorable Dates : Jan 3, 7, 12, 16, 21, 25 Favorable Colors : Blue & Yellow

Taurus ( 20 April – 20 May ) – A sense of peace regarding work and health routines is with you this month, and your social life tends to take center stage. You could find that you’re making more concessions than usual and that your agenda takes a back seat to the plans and needs of important people in your life. Events and realizations this month can get the ball rolling for important changes. Love relationships can reach new depths of understanding. Your personal magnetism and attractiveness increase impressively. Your ability to open yourself up to others is directly proportional to the opportunities that open up to you. Favorable Dates : Jan 3, 7, 12, 16, 21, 25 Favorable Colors : Blue & Yellow

Gemini ( 21 May – 20 June ) – Careful planning with your finances is needed this month. Giving into get rich quick schemes, however tempting, will only land you into trouble. There are some hurdles to deal with and the most important one has to do with your relationship with yourself. This is the time to work on ridding yourself of self-defeating or limiting attitudes. This period has probably been making you feel more distant emotionally from others and lack the intimacy you want in life, but that finally ends at the end of January, and you can work on trying to forge better, stronger connections with others.  Favorable Dates : Jan 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favorable Colors : Red & White

Cancer ( 21 June – 22 July )  – You are warmer and more approachable. There is no better time to make lifestyle changes. You are easily engrossed by special subjects and projects this month, and eagerly throw yourself into learning and producing. New opportunities can arise in the last few days of the month, but be sure you don’t take on too much. You need to push forward with important projects, and if it means getting a little help, the cosmos are shining on you. There could be professional opportunities that present themselves. Recognition for your work could be forthcoming now. Favorable Dates : Jan 4, 5, 13, 14, 22, 23 Favorable Colors : Red & Blue

Leo  ( 23 July – 22 August ) -  It’s  a good period for gaining new information that helps you to move forward, including great advice, so stay connected and listen attentively.  If you’have been waiting for word on a new job, a promotion, or a clean slate of health, this could be the time when you receive the good news. A sudden opportunity to travel, further your education, or spread the word about a project can arise in the last few days of January as well. The last week is about connecting and communicating. Stay active and connected. You’re set to learn a great deal.  Favorable Dates : Jan 2, 4, 11, 13, 20, 22 Favorable Colors : Red & White

Virgo (23 August – 22 September) – This is a strong month for taking care of business, practical matters, budget-making, asking for a raise, and discovering new ways to boost your income. A sense of peace about your personal finances enhances your overall mood. The stronger you feel on the inside, the more fun you’ll have. You’re also busy working with your physical body. Implementing and maintaining an exercise or nutrition program should be a priority. Although routine matters can get boring at times, reworking and reorganizing these things can be very satisfying. Favorable Dates : Jan 1, 5, 10, 14, 19, 23 Favorable Colors : Yellow & White 

Libra (23 September – 22 October) – You are aligning yourself with new goals or re-committing to those already in place. Your cash flow can begin to free up now. Be open to discussing different options that can result in you changing direction or reconsidering your path to success. The chance to learn more can sharpen your skill set. In love, think long-term. A close relationship can begin, blossom, or demand attention. Make sure that you show appreciation towards family members and close friends, sometimes you may have to sacrifice the time you spend with one over the other. Favorable Dates : Jan 2, 8, 11, 17, 20, 26 Favorable Colors : Green & White

Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) – The first three weeks are good for smoothing over differences in your career and also for dealing with reputation issues. As detail-oriented as you normally are, you’re so busy this month that it’s easy to get distracted and miss important information This is not a time for pomp, show, and risk-taking, although you are more confident when it comes to pursuit of love until the 16th. Try not to feel pressured to make big decisions, as they may have to wait. Money matters are more successful with a partner after the 21st, but you’ll need to take a hard look at spending as well as debts.  Favorable Dates : Jan 3, 8, 12, 17, 21, 26 Favorable Colors : Blue & White

Sagittarius (22 November -21 December) – Your personal impact is strong and  you are likely to be in a frame of mind that involves review and caution. Avoid pushing matters. You’re likely to be self-involved this month, but it’s a necessary process. Career offers come now and money owed to you could also arrive. Take your time with important decision making, as you may not have all the tools at your disposal for clarity. Decide now what it is you want and then stick to any decision you make for everyone else’s sake including your own. The best way to reach a compromise is to allow everyone to have their say and take it from there.  Favorable Dates : Jan 2, 5, 11, 14, 20, 23 Favorable Colors : Red & Green

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Your reading for January

Light of the Desert

by Lucette Walters
Product Details

Born into a wealthy family, loving parents, and a beautiful home, Zafferra and Noora have the best of everything, including the chance to be educated in London. What more could they want?

Noora is engaged to Michel, handsome and with good prospects he is everything a girl could want, and he is deeply in love with her.

However, this story is about sibling rivalry, a common problem, however Zaffeera’s jealousy of her sister Noora transcends all reason. Carefully hidden beneath her meek demeanour, Zafferra is harbouring a deep jealousy, it is consuming her! Nobody realises, but as a young girl she had fallen in love with Michel after a chance meeting years before, she should be his wife, and is determined it will be so.

Time is running out, soon the sisters will be leaving London, returning to Egypt for Noora and Michel’s wedding. So, during their last few days in London, Zafferra puts her plan into action…

When they excitedly return home, the reception Noora receives leaves her confused. Then, when she is called to a meeting with her father, her life changes forever. For their father, Farid Fendil is a loyal MOFHAJ member, and having been presented with undeniable evidence of an immoral crime being perpetrated, by a member of his family, he knows what he must do.

Thus Noora finds herself fleeing for her life, travelling across continents, in her pursuit of sanctuary she must take on a new identity.

With her new name, Kelley, her life changes in ways she could never have imagined, however, the past has a way of catching up on you, and as the sisters both discover, the future can never be assumed.

We read every day in the papers, and see on the news the damage and chaos caused by fundamentalist groups, and hear horrific tales of female circumcision, and other ordeals which are inflicted on women and children in the Middle East. This story graphically brings these things to life.

This gripping novel captures your attention from the very first page. It takes you on a wonderful adventure, yet it is also a beautiful love story, interlaced with jealousy, betrayal and a myriad of other emotions. To me it was not only entertaining, but also fascinating, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Available from Amazon in Kindle format

The Jerusalem Assassin 

Product Details

In this superb spy thriller, the author has revisited the weeks leading up to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The assassination itself is shrouded in mystery, of course being such a radical leader, Yitzhak Rabin knew that was never going to be popular with everyone, however, he did what he believed to be right in his search for peace, by extending his hand to Yasir Arafat, leader of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization).

And so the story begins…

It is the 11th October, 1995, and Al-Mazir arrives at Charles De Gaulle airport. He has been sent for a meeting with Abu Yusef, and a rich Saudi prince, their sponsor. The men are eager to show the world the power and strength of the Palestinian resistance as it unites against the Zionist enemy. However, Elie Weiss is head of the Special Operations Division in Europe. Al-Mazir’s arrival has been noticed by his agents Gideon and Bathsheba, and they have other plans…

Soon, readers of this book’s prequel ‘The Jerusalem Inception’ will see ghosts from the past arising. We discover that Lemmy, the thought to be dead son of Rabi Abraham Gerster, (one time leader of the Neturay Karta, an ultra-orthodox sect), is very much alive, and is now married with a son of his own. With a false identity he is living under the name of Herr Wilhelm Horch, and is vice-President of his father-in-law’s Hoffgeitz Bank in Zurich.

Cleverly set in place years before for long term infiltration, Lemmy has been clandestinely working for Special Operations leader Elie Weiss all along. Despite the years not having been kind to him, aged and ill, Elie is determined to lay claim to the billions of dollars in blood money secreted for General Klaus Koenig, by his old school friend and banker Armande Hoffgeitz. The money had come from the selling of the jewels and gold from the WWII holocaust victims, and the amounts had been noted in a ledger. Many years may have passed since that day, but Elie’s memory of that time is still vivid. A survivor of such a terrible war, how could he forget its horrors, or the day, right at its end, when he and a young Abraham Gerster, after killing the general had found the ledger, and a beautiful pregnant girl, now Mossad agent Tanya.

This gripping spy thriller, has a fantastic plot, which, set at such a tremulous time, in such a vehemently religious part of the world makes it enthralling reading. I found the insight into the fanaticism of the members of the PLO, and the acts they commit horrifying. That people such as the characters in this book exist is without doubt true, however, the true depths they are prepared to go to, the taking of lives without a second thought, and the lies they are prepared to tell in pursuit of their goals are incredible.

I loved reading this action packed, exciting, and sexy take on a real event in fairly modern history by this talented author.

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Available from Amazon in Kindle format

Dying For Revenge (The Lady Doc Murders Book 1) 

This enthralling murder mystery is set in Telluride, Colorado, at Mountain Village, once a sleepy ranch town, it is now the place to live, with many of the rich and famous having homes there.

One of its residents is the favourite leading man of the moment, Mitch Houston, who seems to have it all, however, all this changes when his wife receives a phone call from a reporter, giving her news which will change their lives forever.

For the Western Slope of Colorado Chief Medical Examiner, Jane Wallace, Tuesday June 6th starts very early with a phone call from Sheriff Tom Patterson, there’s been a murder, and of course she must attend.

Five years have passed since the death of her beloved husband John, and Jane has never come to terms with the loss, she is living with it every day. Her other children have flown the nest, and now she lives with her son Ben, finding great comfort in her church, and she enjoys the company of the new young priest Father Matt. It is he who introduces her to Eoin Connor, a true crimes author.

One death is a tragedy, however, as the death toll steadily rises, it soon becomes apparent that the killer must be found, but there is only clue, the killer’s weapon of choice is a .22 rifle. Not much to go on.

Throughout the book there are many small stories giving the reader snapshot insights into the varied lives of its main characters, and building such a depth to the story that it is simply totally enthralling.

I loved reading this very cleverly written murder mystery, which was packed full of suspense, and can’t wait for Book 2 to be released.

Reviewed by Susan Keefe


Available from Amazon in Kindle format

by James McKennaProduct Details

This fast paced fantasy story opens with Rosie, hunting in her Uncle Hugo’s cellar at Haston Manor. It’s creepy down there, but she is on a mission, she’s searching for a family heirloom, a locket handed down through her mother’s line. Why? Because her mother told her in a letter given to her by Uncle Hugo on her 14th birthday, that the locket holds special powers, and she should ‘accept her fate,’ but what does that mean?

Rosie is soon to discover that her destiny lies before her, and that the locket is not the only legacy which is handed down from mother to daughter. Her uncle often fondly tells her that her mother used to see goblins and demons hiding in the grounds, strange creatures, just like she has started seeing. However, it is not until she loses a very special bracelet that her search to find it takes her through a magical portal into another place, Mind Space, and she realises that the creatures really do exist…

Mind Space is a mysterious realm which is inhabited by strange and mythical creatures. She and three friends, (who are transported with her by accident) find themselves trapped there until they can complete their quest. It is a land in torment, torn apart by the fierce angel wars between the Knights of Lousã and the Dark Angel and his demons.

This exciting adventure follows the brave friends’ quest through this strange land, where they find themselves fighting against evil side by side with strange creatures and a fire breathing dragon.

Who will win the angel wars?

Will Rosie find her bracelet, and if she does, how do they return to their time?

The answers all lie within the pages of this fantastic fantasy story which will enthral young adults of both sexes. However, not only is this an exciting story, but it also demonstrates the incredible powers of true friendship and loyalty, and the comradeship which can be shared.

I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling story and look forward to reading its sequel.

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Available from Amazon in Kindle format


In the garden this month

from Le Jardin Champêtre

Two aromatic shrubs flowering this week - Rosmarinus ‘Corsican Blue’ and Lavandula dentata. They are happiest planted in full sun with a free draining soil and some shelter from cold winds. They will provide you with evergreen ground cover and scented foliage plus flowers on and off throughout the year in milder weather. The Rosemary has a semi-trailing habit whilst the Lavender is shrubby, both can be trimmed to keep a good shape.P1400046