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After a quick foray into the vines to hand-pick grapes for our sparkling wines last week, the harvest went into full swing today, as we machine harvested our Pays d’Oc. On Monday we will continue hand-picking the grapes for our white Limoux wines – and continue doing so, hopefully, until the end. This is two to three weeks later than last year, when we had already finished harvesting by this date.
It has been an extremely interesting run-up to the vintage this year: we had an unseasonably warm winter, a cool spring, and a summer so hot it was reminiscent of 2003. We also experienced the latest veraison (when the grapes begin their ripening process) in our history. Drought has been a major issue throughout the region generally, this year, while some parts of the Languedoc were even devastated by hail on the eve of their harvest.
At Rives-Blanques we have been saved by our high altitude micro-climate, and by our old vines whose deep roots search out ground water. As the harvest opened, the vines were showing almost no sign of a lack of water, and the grapes were generally plentiful and all in perfect condition. 12 mm of rain on the eve of our harvest made a positive contribution, and again we were lucky: more at this point would have been bad news. It was the Goldilocks factor: just right.
You can follow our harvest on our Diary of a Vineyard.
Saturday September 17
Mrs Robinson also reviewed all Rives Blanques’ new releases this month, those tasting notes can be found here.
Introduction to gardening in the Languedoc – coping with the climate
Thursday 13th October, 10am to 4pm
A course which is aimed at those relatively new to gardening in the Languedoc. The aim is to provide information and promote discussion in a relaxed and informal atmosphere which will help those interested in creating interesting, easy to maintain and colourful ornamental gardens in our summer dry climate. We will consider the nature of the local climate, the physical problems associated with gardening here (heat, drought, cold, wind, soil) and how to cope with these varied problems particularly dealing with drought and thinking about “waterwise” gardening; recognising plants which are appropriate to this climate; buying plants; planting techniques and maintenance. The programme will include a guided tour of the garden here to illustrate points made. (NB This course is an abridged form of a similar programme which was formerly offered over two days.)
Aromatics for Languedoc gardens
Thursday 20th October, 10am to 4pm
A course which is for gardeners and foodies alike. We will consider a range of over forty common and more unusual aromatics (herbs and spices) which we can grow in our gardens, this will include Mediterranean and southern European perennials & shrubs, other hardy perennials, annuals & biennials and a few half hardy plants. We’ll look at how to identify plants (mostly from actual plant material here), how to propagate and grow them, how to harvest and use them as well as thinking about how to incorporate aromatics in ornamental gardens and using them as companion plants.
Fee for each course: 50 euros, including teas & coffees. We ask you to bring a packed lunch.
Gill Pound Le Jardin de la Petite Pépinière de Caunes 21, av de la Montagne Noire, 11160 Caunes-Minervois 04 68 78 43 81 www.lapetitepepiniere.com
Both courses are designed for a group of between eight and twelve people to allow plenty of time to discuss individual issues and problems. For more information or to book a place please phone 04 68 78 43 81 or email Gill@lapetitepepiniere.com
This article is for general information only. French law is a highly specialised area and 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.
The French government has announced further favourable tax concessions to attract bankers and other high earners to Paris. One of the main tax relief provisions is in Article 155B of the French tax code which is to be extended.
The French government has said following the Brexit vote they want to make France the most fiscally attractive place in Europe for expatriates to relocate to. Although clearly aimed at large corporates the attractive tax exemptions can equally be used by the smaller businessman and entrepreneur considering a relocation or eventual retirement in France.
Who can benefit?
In order to benefit from the tax break you must:
Your nationality is, in all cases, irrelevant.
What are the exemptions?
The exemptions extend to your income from:
Employment income exemption
Investment income exemption
There is a 50% income tax exemption for income from shares and bank and other deposits and intellectual property rights. There is a similar 50% exemption for capital gains tax. The payments (i.e. source) must be made by an entity outside France in a country with a tax treaty with France.
How long do they last for?
Currently up to 31st December in the fifth calendar year following the date you take up your position in France. The French government has recently announced it will be extended to 8 years.
There is an exemption from French Wealth Tax on assets situated outside France. This is for 5 years though it is not yet clear whether this will also be extended to 8 years as above.
The exemption does not apply to individuals who come to work in France “on their own initiative”. The offer of employment must be made whilst the taxpayer is resident outside France. The taxpayer must show his “real” residency was outside France at that time.
This exemption is aimed at attracting people to work for large corporations and banks in Paris. It does however seem possible it could be used by the smaller entrepreneur. The first step would be to establish a corporate vehicle in France taking care not to become a French resident in the process. The French company should commence a business venture and shortly after this make a formal offer of employment to the entrepreneur. The exemptions available should apply equally to the smaller business person which could make this an attractive option for a UK business person relocating to France.
If for instance you have a UK company which continues to trade in the UK, income from dividends paid to a French resident by a UK company are exempt from UK tax and under the French rules will be exempt from French tax for 8 years.
This kind of scenario requires careful consideration. In particular you will need to avoid the pitfall of the UK Company’s residence moving to France.
It also seems likely that pension income taken during the 8 year period will be exempt from tax in the UK if you are not UK resident and also in France under this exemption. This could be helpful for UK individuals over 55 who wish to take their pensions early whilst working in France.
Comparison with the UK’s resident non-domiciled tax status
This tax relief is very similar to the UK’s resident non domiciled tax status. The main comparisons which can be made are as follows:-
These provisions will be of particular interest to French nationals resident in London considering a return to France because of Brexit. High earning individuals who have international careers will receive significant tax breaks especially if they are coming to the end of their working life with 8 or fewer years to go. It will also be a useful option for UK resident non-domiciled people who wish to establish a “break” in their UK residency for non-domiciled reasons.
The smaller businessman who intends to retire to France could also use this exemption, possibly towards the end of his career. Housing and other removal costs to France could be mainly paid for out of untaxed income.
Sykes Anderson Perry Limited Solicitors London
www.saplaw.co.uk + 44 203 794 5959
by Susan Keefe
Til The End: A Novel of Murder, Addiction, and Lies
by Joseph Patrick 33
Some great friendships are forged in our youth especially in team sports. The stories of four friends are told in this book which is set in Detroit, between 1988 and 1993.Ryan, Tyler, Jacob and Avery are high school football stars, young men with a future, looking forward to fame, fortune, money and success. High spirited and with the world at their feet, they have their dreams of fame and fortune, and the world in their pockets, so to speak.Suddenly however all this alters when something happened one night, a horrific event which changes everything. They must protect each other, and so they make a pact, their secret can never be revealed…
When something like this occurs, it can’t help but change the people involved, life will never be the same, but it must go on and everyone must deal with it in their own unique way.
As they struggle to keep the secret, each day wondering if it will surface, the boys search for escapism in the usual ways, and alienate the ones they love. Involvement in the worlds of drugs and drink, the untimely death of two of them, and abuse tear them apart. This is a very interesting read.
Perhaps it should be used as an example, or reminder that life is not a video game, you can’t reset the screen or reload the game, once something is done, it cannot be undone – you must live with the consequences for life, the buck stops with you!
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Til-End-Novel-Murder-Addiction-ebook/dp/B01DSVZ0DE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1472046881&sr=8-2
I Swear It Happened Just Like This: 17 Short Stories for Your Pocket
by Khaled Talib
Ever found yourself stuck in with a boring person who just keeps rattling on, ever felt that you should say something, but am not sure what? Well this is just the book for you! It I a wonderful collection of very short stories which, whatever the situation you find yourself in, should give you something to talk about.
As always, some stories will appeal more than others, depending on what tickles your fancy, but however fussy you are there should be something for everyone. Whether you fancy something a little scary, funny, strange but true, or philosophical, they are all there, ready for your perusal. Then, you can store them away until that time in the future when they are just what you need.
Entertaining and interesting, this book was a very enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Available from Amazon in Kindle format: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swear-Happened-Just-Like-This-ebook/dp/B01HBVTK7Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472046733&sr=8-1&keywords=I+swear+it+happened+just+like+this
this month’s recommendations from Le Jardin Champetre
Lighting up the garden in the evening sun is Miscanthus ‘Adagio’. It is a compact clump-forming grass with bronze-pink flowers fading to white and prefers a spot in full sun or partial shade. Ours were planted this spring and are being watered weekly over this dry summer but should need less water once they’re established. They look great planted in groups or with similar height perennials (here with Bronze Fennel)
Here grasses and perennials are also adding movement to the garden in the wind. We have interplanted the Pink Fountain Grass Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’ and Mexican Feather Grass Stipa tennuissima with Verbena bonariensis and Bronze Fennel.
by Brian Cave
1. Whether one is a Remainder or a Leaver, it is the case that very large numbers of British Citizens resident in the other EU States are worried and at worst profoundly fearful for their future and for the future place of Britain in the world.
Surely the Brexit direction is a course of diversion away from the European Union and the established links and ‘rights’ of British Citizens could be broken forever.
The ECREU www.ecreu.com site has been developed to explore the Rights of British citizens throughout the EU States. Have a look at the ECREU site if you have not done so already.
That is why ECREU will do all possible to contact politicians in a manner which generates a sympathetic dialogue.
The Britons abroad should not be ignored. The British Government should listen to them and they in turn should make their voices heard by the politicians.
3. A letter has been received from Lord Tyler (Lib-Dem Party) – reproduced below – which is of considerable importance.
The four Boundary Commission Committees are at this moment in discussions on presenting a report to Parliament in early 2018. Some are producing interim consultation papers this September.
To know more google ’Boundary Commission’ and many links will appear.
NORTHERN IRELAND firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Brian Cave,
I was delighted to hear from you, and very much appreciate all your timely advice and comprehensive data on this issue.
In particular, I cannot stress too much the vital importance of your final comment: “the correct solution is constituencies for expatriates”.
This is the ONLY rational solution but it is ALSO the only realistic political objective. Put yourself in the shoes of the individual Constituency MP; faced with the problems, concerns and special interests of some 75,000 constituents on his or her doorstep how many will give appropriate attention to a few dozen potential voters, with perhaps very different interests, living many hundreds of miles away ? I had 87,000 eligible electors in my North Cornwall constituency: l have to confess that I was never even aware of the number of expatriates registered on our electoral roll.
This is why the Commons will be reluctant to simply remove the 15 year limit. Whatever may be the intention of the May Government I doubt whether individual MPs would give a majority to a simple extension to lifetime franchise eligibility, even if the practical problems you highlight could be easily overcome. Reverting to the place of birth would be equally objectionable as far as these MPs were concerned. The individual elector might never have been an adult – with a vote – in the constituency to which he or she was allocated. Why should the MP feel any obligation to represent their views ? You are absolutely right to be DOUBTFUL !
With the increase in registration we foresee the case for specific expatriate parliamentary constituencies gaining ground. The logic is impeccable. The current review by the four Boundary Commissions is the appropriate context to press this case, with the norm of some 70,000 – 80,000 electors justifying a separate seat. Turning to the wider issues, your research is invaluable. As you know both the Conservative and Labour Parties have now given up on any chance of a truly effective full-hearted relationship with the European Union but the Liberal Democrats (and to a lesser extent the Nationalist parties and the Greens) have not. We are determined to do everything in our power to avert the worst results of Brexit, even to the extent of advocating remaining full members of the EU if an early UK General Election takes place before the eventual repeal of the Treaties. We are also seriously examining the case for Parliamentary approval of various stages of the negotiations. There could even be a further Referendum to approve – or reject – the final deal.
Meanwhile, I hope that you will feel reassured from the above that I and my colleagues are passionately interested in the concerns you express, and warmly welcome the ECREU initiative. I will look forward to reading more about the plans; in the meantime I must
urge you and all who wish to make progress to give maximum support to the expatriate constituency option.
With Very Best Wishes
is the name of the British Airways aircraft that is flying Team GB and ParalympicsGB home from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The name, which was one of a short-list of four selected by the athletes and British Airways staff, was chosen by hundreds of fans on Twitter in a recent poll.
To mark the occasion, the VIP charter aircraft bringing the athletes home has been named flight ‘BA2016’, is decorated with a gold-nose and has its name ‘victoRIOus’ emblazoned on the side. For Team GB’s homecoming, it also features ‘#greattobeBAck’ – a hashtag that the fans and athletes are encouraged to use.
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said: “We’re excited to be bringing the athletes home ‘happy and glorious’ following the Games! victoRIOus is a very fitting name, reflecting the great pride we have for our sporting heroes, and is a great play on words too.”
Team GB depart on flight BA2016 from Rio de Janeiro today, Monday August 22, and land into Heathrow Terminal 5 tomorrow on Tuesday August 23 at 9.55am to an invite-only media reception.
Fans can visit facebook.com/TeamGB from 9.55am on Tuesday August 23, for a live broadcast with the athletes once the aircraft touches down.
As of Monday August 22, the public can also follow the aircraft’s movement on flight tracking website ‘Flightradar24’, which has created a bespoke visual of the aircraft when visitors hover over the icon. It will also feature on ba.com/backingGB.
Bill Sweeney, British Olympic Association CEO said: “Though we are still deep in the middle of competing, one thing we know we will have had from start to finish and beyond is the incredible support of the Team GB fans, both in Rio and Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
That support means everything to the athletes and for them to arrive home on board victoRIOus and share their experiences with their family, friends and fans is very special; and we thank British Airways for arranging this special plane home on the 23rd.”
During the 11 hour 15 minute flight, athletes can enjoy over 1,300 hours of films, top TV shows and audio programmes on board. This includes specially selected sports documentaries – ‘Sporting Greats; Sir Steve Redgrave’ and ‘Back on Board: Greg Louganis’, as well as highlights from the Rio 2016 Games and classic sports film ‘Chariots of Fire’.
Athletes will be able to enjoy a three-course menu and breakfast on board their return flight, along with a complimentary bar service. Some of the dishes available include; Gaucho-style beef tenderloin with kale and tomato, Grilled salmon and ginger-infused noodle salad, chicken in a white wine sauce, thai fish curry and chicken with polenta au gratin.
‘victoRIOus’ will take flight again on September 20, when ParalympicsGB return home from the Rio 2016 Games.
British Airways is official airline supplier to Team GB and ParalympicsGB. For the latest news and information please visit ba.com/backingGB
The open Gardens / Jardins Ouvert organisation was founded in 2013, when we opened 4 gardens in the département of the Creuse for 1 day. The event raised 300€ which was sent to a French charity called A Chacun son Everest, which organises activities for children with, or in remission, from cancer or leukaemia. In 2014, we opened 28 gardens, spread through 4 départements, for a weekend in June and raised just over 3,000€, of which 2,500€ was sent to the same charity.
In 2015, our target was 5,000€ and we actually raised over 13,000€. There are now over 90 gardens in 22 départements and requests to take part continue to come in on a regular basis. The mixture of viewing beautiful gardens and raising money for charitable causes is a lovely way to spend time and many people are realising the joys of being involved, either as a participant or visitor.
In a very short space of time, the success of Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts has been overwhelming. The organising Conseil is committed to developing the project on a wider basis and, at some point in the future, hopes to see gardens throughout France proudly bearing the logo of Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts.
Day Pass: 5€ (1 day only)
If you only intend to visit gardens on one particular day throughout 2016, then a Day Pass will be the preferred option. This costs 5€ and is available at the first garden you visit on your chosen day. You will be issued with the Day Pass, which will be overwritten with the date of purchase and can only be used on that day. Please keep it with you as you will need to show it to the owner of any other garden you visit.
Membership Card: 10€ (valid for every garden throughout 2016)
The best option, if you intend to visit gardens on more than one day, is the Membership Card. This costs 10€ by post or 11€ via the website. (The additional 1€ is to offset the additional admin and postage costs).
Open Gardens for September
September/October (by appointment): 84360 Lauris
This garden is “garrigue” or dry garden. My husband and I planted all trees and plants ourselves since 1990. The soil is difficult, heavy and chalk. This will probably give visitors an opportunity to see a completely different type of garden, especially those not used to a garden with a “Mediterranean” feel (particularly Cypress & Olive trees)
4 September: 16390 Montignac le Coq
The Jardins du Coq were created in 2012. These young gardens recount the autobiography of the creator narrated in the appearance of the plants. The gardens are set on 2 hectares and are divided into 3 large areas around a collection of roses. The gardens evoke personal memories and a message of peace, love and friendship. Throughout the visit, poems and thoughts of artists are in evidence along the borders. New creations are being added all the time to this secret, lush garden.
10 September: 46310 St Germain du Bel Air
Our garden of over a hectare is divided into a formal front garden with herbaceous and rose beds. To the rear of the house is a restrained courtyard which leads to a mature tree alley, beneath which is a long “hot bed”. In addition, there are two island beds, one dedicated to dry conditions, the other a riot of colour.
11 September: 53190 La Dorée
Our eight year old garden, formerly pastureland, has been designed to create different areas of interest for colour, scent and wildlife throughout the year. It includes a herb garden, ornamental fruit and vegetable garden, flower garden, topiary, autumn/winter borders, orchard and further areas still under construction, including an arboretum. Seats around the garden offer a moment to pause.
11 September: 24340 La Rochebeaucourt
A rescued, mature garden of 6500 sq m with a range of ornamental trees, box topiary and herbaceous plants. There is also a fishpond, rockeries and a pergola.
11 September: 24360 Piégut Pluviers
Overlooking a lovely lake, our flower borders are alive with bees, butterflies and other insects all summer long. Mainly planted with herbaceous perennials, each year we develop a new area which gives us scope to try new and unusual plants. Come along and enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of home made cake whilst taking in the views over the lake…you may even see a kingfisher!
18 September: 24320 St Paul Lizonne
Against a background of exotic greenery and a collection of over 100 species and varieties of “tamed” bamboo, hardy plants and roses rub shoulders with fruit trees and a potager on a slope and cultivated according to the principles of permaculture.
18 September: 23210 Aulon
The huge diversity of hardy shrubs and plants produce colour and scent throughout the year: peonies & honeysuckle in springtime, old roses and hydrangeas in summer, grasses and anemones in autumn.
by Richard Pickering Cushman & Wakefield
Performance enhancement. Alongside world records being smashed by elite athletes in Rio de Janeiro this week, the UK Equities market is setting records of its own. The FTSE 100, up 11% so far in 2016 to close last week at 6,916 is at its highest level in 14 months. So what is behind the performance burst? No doubt monetary policy measures intended to drive down the returns on bonds, and cut interest rates to record lows have served to stimulate demand. Alongside QE, the value of the pound also dropped, boosting overseas earnings. In an interesting twist, one of the Bank’s most notorious hawks, Ian McCafferty, now states that he believes rates could go even lower in upcoming months. Well, well, well…do I hear 7,000?
Money can’t buy you bonds. The Bank of England is in the market for gilts. The latest QE plan (announced 9 August) is based on an assumption that as buyers of gilts, the Bank of England would find sellers. The problem with that assumption is simple. The owners (largely financial institutions) are reluctant to sell, particularly their longer dated assets. As a result, the Bank of England failed to buy as much as required, calling into question the viability of the wider QE programme. And this problem appears unlikely to go away anytime soon given the difficulty that long term pensions and savings plans face generating a sufficient return. Why would you sell to the Bank of England at the moment? If the Bank of England want yields to go down, your prices are going up.
Brexit bonanza. The latest retail sales figures could help temper fears that the economy is grinding to a halt. In total terms, sales rose by 1.9% in July, the strongest growth since January. The positive news story will come as a welcome relief to town centres across the country, given early indicators suggesting consumer activity slowing in the wake of the EU referendum. Warm weather and a weak pound are tributed with boosting a feel good factor at home and tourism interest from abroad – the number of foreign visitors to Britain jumped 18% in July. While the numbers are a reason to be cheerful, it is only the first month of full figures post Brexit. Encouraging news, but early days. Best to hold off ordering the bunting for now.
Powerhouse agenda. With George Osborne sacked as Chancellor by Theresa May, the fate of the Northern Powerhouse – his pet project – seemed at risk. Enter Andy Burnham, ardent campaigner for the Northern Powerhouse, as the winner of Labour’s Greater Manchester mayor nomination last week. If elected next May, Burnham has vowed to uphold a bold regional agenda including plans to radically transform the housing market. Business welcomes the idea of a Manchester mayor, but is concerned about any change to an economic model it sees as already successful. It is encouraging that these first fruits of devolution and a powerhouse premium are beginning to be realized as true sources of economic potential. The Northern Powerhouse is a £300bn economy – it will be hard for the new government to resist its momentum.
Mind the gap. Shocking figures released by think tank The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) last week showed six times as much money is spent on transport projects in London than in the north. The IPPR showed the Department for Transport (DFT) will spend £289 per person in the north and £1,870 per person in the capital over the next four years. While airport capacity and HS2 will no doubt take up much of Chris Grayling’s immediate attention, improving connectivity between the country’s regional cities surely deserves priority as part of Theresa May’s ‘Better Britain’ policy agenda. No doubt, the irony of dramatic southern regional overspend will not be lost on the thousands of Southern rail commuters experiencing chronic delays this summer.
All together now. The UK property fund management business is continuing to wrestle with managing liquidity mismatch – taking in money on a short term basis and allocating it on a long term one. In latest news, the managers of over £14bn in funds, currently frozen to redemptions, announced they are considering a coordinated re-opening. This comes after news from Aviva last week that its £1.8bn fund may stay closed for at least six months. The FSA is being consulted as any coordinated approach will need to comply with anti-competition regulation. While industry efforts to avoid a repeat of the German Open Ended Fund (GOEF) crisis of 2010 are laudable, they need to go further to ensure the reputation of the industry is not permanently tarnished. INREV’s report “Pillars to Endure Open End Fund Liquidity” released last year is a start. It’s clear efforts need to go further.
Deal or no deal. Nearly eight weeks since the Brexit vote, and our tracker of investment activity is generally showing positive progress, including an improvement in deal volumes outside of London. Tracking a majority of assets on the market, we are witnessing increased turnover in the last four weeks, up noticeably from the initial four weeks after the referendum. Liquidity appears highest for smaller lot sizes and for unexpired lease terms of five years or more. The average transaction price reflects a marginal available discount, but a shortage of forced sellers has resulted in narrower price adjustments than many expected. Valuations have been trending on the conservative side with the industrial sector appearing most resilient. Deal or no deal: as always, it’s a matter of perspective.
Pay as you play. All of the excitement around Team GB’s success at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad (50 medals and 5 days to go, at the time of writing) has overshadowed the UK Premier League Football season which kicked off this past weekend, and set a very different type of world record. Manchester United splashed the cash to take the midfielder, Paul Pogba, from Juventus for a world record breaking £89m fee. Perhaps club manager, Jose Mourinho, should have considered real estate as an alternative investment? Just last quarter, for the same amount of cash he could have picked up a new, landmark development (the XYZ Building) in Manchester’s Spinningfields, ‘the Canary Wharf of the North’, bringing in an annual rent of c.4.5m. Instead, his club will be paying out £15m a year on income on Pogba’s salary. And that is before mentioning relative depreciation rates.
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