Please E.Mail us at –



120X600 cheaper




Click-throughs to your local markets, vide greniers & where to get free or cheap stuff


CLICK HERE for a better rate of annuity for your retirement

Advertise monthly in ‘Mon Oc’. The e.News mailed to 6,500+ readers. 2012 prices still apply.


Check on Petrol & Gazol prices near you


Check on the sunshine . . .


Want Not, Waste Not – Recycling and What to do with those really unusual things !

DAILY NEWS FEED . . . Click on picture to read the full article


Check out PINTEREST for Photography all around France, and What’s going on! CLICK BUTTON BELOW

April 2014
« Mar    

Got a question?


GIFTS – Ever considered an annual or lifetime membership for the family ???

e-CHEMIST for all needs, without question

This was Imelda Marcus’s favourite web site:

Games, Vids, More Games, More Vids & Music:

News & Views on Thursday 24th April

Read_Todays_News-2These News & Views are scooped from around the world, What’s happening? What are people thinking? What would people like them to think? . . . and some of the amusing things that are going on today.



When you hear the words foreign exchange, you may think ‘that’s not for me’

Fear_£_€But the chances are there will come a time when you do need to make an overseas currency transfer – and when you do, you’ll want it done quickly, cheaply and easily.

Because there are so many things that may require you to move money, and you never know where life will take you.

The fact that you’re reading this on this website means it’s possible that you’ve already thought about moving to France, or are thinking of buying a second home there. Or maybe you’ve already done so and are looking to get the best deal on your currency transfers.

There are loads of other reasons to move your money, including

  • Overseas mortgage payments – if you’re buying a home abroad, you may need to make regular mortgage payments. Make sure the payments are paid accurately, on time and at the best rate.
  • Repatriating salary – if you’re working abroad and want to send money home
  • Overseas study fees – if you or your children are studying abroad, you’ll need to pay the fees into the school or University account. Plus, maintenance costs.
  • One off payment – buying something special from an international seller
  • Pension – transferring your pension to the bank account in your new country

FINANCIAL_344_World_First_May14Whatever the reason you want to move your money, World First can help. They are the UK’s leading foreign exchange company, and their best rate guarantee means your money will go further. They offer the fastest available international payments, and give outstanding customer service that will take the stress out of the whole process. With every phone call answered in three rings and their easy-to-use online platform, there’s no easier way of moving your money.

Sign up in 5 minutes, it’s so easy.

Move your money the easy way with World First

Rupert Hart


Summer Festivals 2014

shutterstock_13471745028-31 May
Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain
28 May – 1 June
Units Sonores, Lyon, France
25 -29 June
Glastonbury, Somerset, UK
July 17-20
FIB Benicassim, Costa Azahar, Spain
8-10 May
Great Escape, Brighton, UK
Womad, Malmesbury, UK
15-17 August
Just So, Scholar Green, Cheshire, UK
7-10 August
Boomtown, Matterley, Winchester, UK
7-10 August
Wilderness, Cornbury, Oxfordshire, UK
29-31 August
End of the Road, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, UK
8-12 September
Unknown, Rovinj, Croatia
27-31 August
Diamensions, Pula, Croatia
2-4 October
Waves, Vienna, Austria
11-18 August
Sziget, Budapest, Hungary

Clock Ticking On France’s Tax Discount For Second Homeowners

Brits looking to sell a second home in France are being urged to ramp up their efforts to find a buyer by summer, in order to benefit from a reduction in capital gains tax (CGT) that comes to an end at the end of August.

As part of an initiative to kick-start France’s slow property market, last year President Hollande introduced a 25% discount on the rate of CGT levied on second homes, valid on transactions completed between September 1st 2013 and August 31st 2014. With a little over four months of the discount period left, vendors are reminded that time is running out to wrap up a sale, especially as much of France traditionally goes on holiday in July and August.

Vendors that do make a sale and qualify for the reduced CGT are being warned not to throw away that saving – considerable in some cases – by not repatriating the proceeds of their sale in the most cost effective way. More specifically, sending money back to the UK is best done through a currency exchange specialist, and not your bank.  Currency specialists typically offer more competitive exchange rates and a more efficient service than banks, who do not view currency transfers as key to their customer service offering.

“There are signs that the French market has improved in the first quarter of 2014 compared with 2013, with agents reporting a rise in viewings.”

Richard Way

Editor at The Overseas Guides Company, publishers of the France Buying Guide,

What a wolf will do for our Pyrenees . . .

We are going to hear a lot about wolves being introduced on our doorstep- the call of the wild and all that stuff !

But look at the good that they have brought to the Yellowstone Park . . . it’s worth watching just to hear some really professional howling !


Découpages in London. Matisse: to colour or not to colour, to paint or to snip, those are the questions

France comes to the UK again. Henri Matisse, The Cut-Outs is at the Tate Modern and runs from now until September 7th.

An exhibition dedicated to Matisse découpages provides us the definitive portfolio of work from 1950 until his death in 1958.

In 1946 with a deterioration in health which limited his ability to paint, he started to explore cut-outs and ever increasing efforts made him soon state that he believed that “one day easel paintings will no longer exist”. Nearly right, but this opened the doors for future painters to work in an array of alternative media from neon to pressed butterflies.

ronchamp-chapelHis use of these flat colours which were dictated by the medium (see Marshall McLuhan’s book The Medium is the Message) and consequently he became interested in stained glass, designing the Dominican Chapel in St. Paul de Vence, just above Cannes.

Apart from this being the first time since conception that his quartet of blue nudes have been together (what do we call an art group of nudes? a palette perhaps?) the exhibition really is a riot of colour with the highlights being The Snail, Memory of Oceana, The Sheaf and Large Composition with Masks at ten metres in length adding to over 100 of brilliant works.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is curated by Nicholas Cullinan, Curator, Modern and 1-Henri Matisse - Rosaire Chapel - windows 2-NCContemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Nicholas Serota, Director with Flavia Frigeri, Assistant Curator, Tate and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York by Jodi Hauptman, Curator, Department of Drawings, and Karl Buchberg, Senior Conservator, with Samantha Friedman, Assistant Curator.

Make sure you see it here before it goes to New York – after which it gets broken up and the pieces are returned to the various galleries and owners . . .

Today, Sunday April 20th . . .


The oddest book titles – EVER

We covered this topic a couple of years ago. Updating it now is appropriate because the London Book Fair opened this morning, on April 8th at Earls Court.

Let me explain . . .

Since 1978 a well-loved publisher ‘the Diagram Group’ has recognised the book with the most unusual title to be found at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

This kicked off with
Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice”.

 Other titles we’ve seen recognised over the years have been:

“The Joy of Chickens”
“The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History, and Its Role in the World Today”
“Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual”
“Highlights in the History of Concrete”
“Bombproof Your Horse”
“People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It”
“The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification”
“Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way”
“Cooking with Poo” which was recognised in 2011. This is not what it seems, Poo is a well-known Thai chef so nothing unusual here.

Since then 2012 produced “Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop” written by Bakeley Reginal, it is described as being a “Guide to banishing fairies from your home”

And the latest in 2013 How to Poo on a Date” written by Mats & Enzo and published by Prion Press it is described as “The Lovers’ Guide to Toilet Etiquette”.

We kid you not. These books were all available to purchase . . . and we look forward to the 2014 nomination with interest

So that you have the whole backstory . . . runners up this year were: “Working Class Cats, Are Trout South African?”, “Where Pie Meets Biography”, “How to Pray When You’re Pissed at God” and “The Origin of Feces”.

These, and a selection of previous winners that are still in print are available here . . . the weirder they are the longer they stay in print !

We publish this as a tribute to Bob Chapman and Bruce Robertson, the founders of Diagram Publishers, and the award that they founded during a quiet and boring day at the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair. Bob died some years ago, the only man to write like an italic typewriter.  Bruce on the 21st March, he is fondly remembered as the man that drew a nun riding a bicycle on someone else’s illustration which he noticed in a publisher’s reception . . . the illustration was about to be collected up by the printer to go in a book  about ecclesiastical life in the middle ages. We believe that it really did get printed!

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk – from 9th April at London’s Barbican

The exhibition - The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier  From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk  – runs from 9th April to 25th August 2014 and is the first major exhibition devoted to the designer.  Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible by the press from the time of his first catwalk shows in the 70′s, he is one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades.  
© Pierre et Gilles. Courtesy Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris

© Pierre et Gilles. Courtesy Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris

Adored by pop stars and actors for his daring inventiveness some 165 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments will be on show in a suitably theatrical installation, and include such iconic pieces such as the conical bra and corsets worn by Madonna during her Blond Ambition World Tour, Kylie Minogue’s stage costumes, and pieces created for the films of Pedro Almodovar….

The exhibition traces the influences that have marked Gaultier’s creative development from the streets of Paris to the DIY aesthetic of punk or fantasies of science fiction, and includes a ‘Muses’ section featuring models, musicians and performers from Naomi Campbell to Kate Moss, Beth Ditto to Dita Von Teese, that have inspired him.
Jean Paul Gaultier loves London as much as his native Paris
I always want to go to London, because London, for me, is a special place. In England I’ve got so many memories and I’ve had so many experiences and the English were the first ones to come to my shows and appreciate my fashion. If there is one place other than Paris that I should like to live in, it is London. I’ve got so many connections with London and feel at home there, even sometimes more than Paris. I like the spirit, the humour and little adventures that were funny, like Eurotrash. The second thing is the Barbican. It’s an honour for me because it’s a wonderful gallery and a wonderful place with extraordinary architecture and I think that showing my work there will be beautiful.”
Exhibition runs from 9th April – 25th August 2014
The Barbican Centre
Gilly Turney

All men will be equal from December 2015

Across Europe and across all phone charges . . .










From December 2015 we have been promised equality within Europe.

EU politicians have voted to ban mobile roaming charges. At present telecom providers are restricted only to capping the charges.  New rules, still to be approved be member state governments, state that the will be no roaming charges so we will pay the same for our calls as being at home, wherever we are in Europe.

It’ll mean that we don’t have to switch off our phones when we travel to and from the UK.  It’ll mean that telecom companies will loose two percent of revenues it’ll mean that we consumers will save £112 million each year.

It’ll mean that across Europe we will be open for offers from foreign providers so our telecom bills should come down.

Note Well:  Travellers to and around outside Europe will still need to be careful of running up humongous mobile phone bills for calls and roaming.

Also this week the European Parliament voted to maintain ‘net neutrality’ meaning that regardless of which website it originates from all internet traffic will be treated equally.

2014 is also a bicentenary for Napoleon

From 17th May major Napoleonic commemorative festivals will take place in the Champagne-Ardenne.

17th and 18th May – the Battle of Brienne

Napoleon-i-9420291-2-402In 1779  at age 10, the young Napoleon Bonaparte arrived at the Royal Military School of Brienne. Here he spent the next five years studying to be an artillery officer. But as we know fate intervened and he adjusted his aspirations.

In 1805, with several victories under his belt and a recent coronation, he went to Milan to wear the crown of the kings of Italy. Taking time off to revisit the place of his formative years, he made ​​a sentimental detour to Brienne where he was welcomed by a cheering population.

In 1814, the Campaign of France began on January 29th with the ‘Battle of Brienne’. After so many conquests, this return to Brienne marked the end of the campaigning Napoleon and it resulted in the first exile of the Emperor to the island of Elba.

On St. Helena, the Emperor, whilst dictating his memoirs, thought back to the country which he grew up, “to my mind Brienne is my home, that was where I felt the first impressions of my destiny”. Bonaparte always kept this memory dear, and in his will he remembered Brienne with a 1,200,000 gold franc bequest.

Thus Brienne-le-Château is a unique place with the Emperor who shared the highlights of its rich and intense life.

Over 17th and 18th May over 300 participants will stage a battle re-enactment of the capture of the chateau, war game demonstrations, parade, and an evening  show celebrating the First and Second Empires.


31st May-1st June – Montmirail Napoleonic Festival

nb51278176Saturday 31st May Re-enactment of the 1814 Battle of Montmirail-Marchais, one of the most important battles of the ‘Campagne de France’ that took place.

More than 1,500 soldiers, 100 cavalry and 10 artillery guns will take part with rallies, cavalry charges, artillery, field hospital and regimental parades.

Visit the Larrey field hospital, the bivouac camp and experience the daily lives of soldiers in the field.

Sunday June 1st from 10:00 a Celebration “Campagne de France 1814″, commemorating 1914

3:00-15:00 A Giant ‘Picnic’ so bring you own field rations please.

Visit bivouacs and experience the daily lives of soldiers in the field. An exhibition of everyday life under the Empire and understand its culture, science, technology and the environment.





Now an easy way to organise your transfers

Book your ‘easy’ flights from here:

This, we believe, is the card that will save you the £5 Credit Card booking fee on every person and every flight on Ryan Air ! ! !

And now a really good solution to cheap holidays in amazing places . . . or leave your pets at home safely:

Stansted to London ? Whilst we always whinge about Ryan Air or Easyjet the travel is never complete till we get to our destination – Terravision is a really easy way to get to Central London.

European TRAIN travel:

British Airways is one of the world’s largest international flight and tour operating airlines, with flights to over 300 destinations.

Search for the best value flights, holidays, hotels…

And what about that insurance, just in case . . . offers customers the best ways to make the most of their free time: amazing deals on hotels, city breaks, flights, holiday theatre tickets & spa for everyone. is the UK’s leading online accommodation specialist. They provide a whole world of hotel possibilities from boutique to chain hotels, cosy B&Bs to luxury spas, with fantastic deals on over 65,000 properties Worldwide.

A car at the other end ? If you need to organise a value for money car hire, you can’t go far wrong here:

Need a hotel at the other end ?

Saga Travel Insurance is designed to provide peace of mind and a high level of protection for anyone aged 50 or over and their friends and family planning a holiday. It provides customers with all the cover they need, whether holidaying in the UK or abroad…plus up to a 5% discount online will take you from anywhere, to anywhere, whenever !

Time to treat your children or grandchildren ? . . Who’re you kidding ? Book for yourselves and enjoy

Why not try looking out for a hotel bargain here . . .

25082011 150x600