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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


Brexit opportunities

by David Anderson

This article is for general information only. 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.

Brexit is a “disruptive” force for business.

It is unpredictable and the impact on business could be sudden. The main disruption established businesses have had to deal with over the past 15 years have been led by disruptive new comers using the internet and other IT applications. They have transformed industries and brought some big seemingly invincible companies down. Brexit is different because it is a political disrupter and a different mind-set is needed.

Expect the unexpected

Because this is political it can change quickly and will not be linear. IT changes followed a linear trajectory. You could see what was happening in the insurance industry with the internet and knew a similar strategy would soon apply in the travel industry. In this regard the IT disruption was easier to plan for. Brexit is different. Political deals and exemptions could mean one part of the UK banking industry does not have a problem but another part does. What happens in the banking sector may not also happen in the insurance sector.

Real politik normally wins

When the public sees higher prices in shops their attitudes will change. Drops in people’s standards of living will quickly translate into new politics. You cannot predict what will happen but something will, which could impact on your business. What will be decided by our leaders will be completely different to the political dogma endlessly repeated on television.

It’s not just about the UK

What is being said abroad will matters more than what is being said in the UK. It is best to watch what is being said by EU politicians and business people to their home audiences. There will be one thing for UK audiences and another thing for EU audiences.

Think the other way round

Imagine France was leaving the EU instead of the UK. The big opportunity would be for the UK to poach the French food and wine trade. At the top end it has high margins and looks very attractive. How quickly could we in the UK produce cheese and wine of a quality to match French production?  Could a UK business making low margin Cheddar start producing higher margin Camembert? Could we change farming in the south of England to start making Chablis? Would anyone buy English fine cheeses and wines or would it be viewed as a joke? How easily could you recruit people with experience in the high value food and beverage industry to work in England?

French companies would have to set up quickly and probably do joint ventures with English companies. Key French employees moved to England would immediately be targeted to join UK companies keen to move in on this opportunity. A smaller UK based company who understood the cheese and beverage business could take a lot of business from a big French company whose relocation took a long time and went badly. Unhappy French employees relocated from France to the UK with social problems fitting into the UK could mean dismal morale in a relocating company.

It is the same for France trying to poach the UK banking and insurance industry! UK companies setting up banking and insurance operations will face competition from local businesses and UK employees may quickly start thinking about going back to the UK. Problems with spouses unhappy at being in France, children not in the right schools and unsuitable accommodation especially in Paris spell big trouble for any employer. The wellbeing of UK staff relocated to France could make or break the UK business.

Planning scenarios

Big companies have to run through scenarios and plan for Brexit changes. These “war games” are essential and they will devote lots of senior executive time and professional resources to this. Rapid changes are very dangerous for big companies because it takes time to restructure and a major shock could be terminal to even the biggest company. This will mean their eye is taken off running their businesses on a day to day basis.

Smaller businesses run similar risks but restructuring can normally be done much faster. Smaller entrepreneurs should look for Brexit opportunities which bigger companies cannot immediately fulfil. Price moves as a result of tariffs are an obvious example. An example is things which are being imported by a big company suddenly become more expensive because the UK imposes a tariff on them so it is cheaper for a small company to make them in the UK.

December 2016

David Anderson

Sykes Anderson Perry Limited   + 44 203 794 5959


By their fruit (deeds) you shall know them. (Matthew 7/16)

by Brian Cave 

Harry Shindler phoned me – “I have an idea”, he said.  “Not unusual” I replied.

“We should stop saying ‘expatriate”“I thought the same myself – I use the term ‘Citizens Abroad’.  “That’s interesting” said Harry.  “I’ve decided to use ‘Britons Abroad”

My reply – “I dislike expatriate because many people spell it ‘expatriot’ which really means ‘almost a traitor’ i.e. no longer interested in one’s country.”

Harry – “And ‘ex’ indicates something in the past – gone”

“And that is how those folk at in Britain see us – deserters – those who have gone away and are no longer interested.”

“Agreed – we will no longer say expatriates but Britons Abroad.”


Harry tries again and again and again to convince the Government that Britons Abroad must have the vote.  If they had the vote the disaster of Brexit might well not have happened.  Brexit is a potential disaster-

Please read this:

People’s lives are affected.  Yes – there are those Britons Abroad who support the departure of Britain from the EU, and no doubt say ‘all will be well’. All manner of things will be well  So said Saint Julian of Norwich in the 14th century.  Many still wait six hundred years later to be convinced.

It is the British Government which has cut adrift the Briton Abroad – As it has done to those in Australia whose pensions are frozen.

The quip ‘A Briton Abroad is a Briton ignored’ has a ring of truth.

Very recently Harry went to visit the Minister for the Constitution, Christopher Skidmore.

Once again Harry put forward a proposal to table a Bill to remove all reference to the 15 year limit for voting.

Once again he received a charming reception and the assurance that a Bill is on its way.
Once again – where is it? One waits to be convinced.

Meanwhile will another election come and the Briton Abroad be left waiting still?

The Liberal Democrats

For years I have maintained a politically independent stance.  Through that I have established friends of all persuasions.  It is time to reconsider this position, though I hasten to add that I will never cow-tow to any party line but retain an independent mind. But you can only have confidence in those who stretch out their hands to support you.  Only one party is wholehearted in supporting Britons Abroad. So I am attracted to the Liberal Democrats.  -  Nick Clegg peeps out occasionally from the long grass – a wise place for him! for he famously said by implication – If the Briton Abroad wishes to be politically active, he should be active in the politics of the country where he is resident- .  Such idiocy appalled me.  Now the Liberal Democrats have firmly rejected that position. Their attitude to Europe and the Briton Abroad is streets ahead of the other parties.

For those interested there are two contact  addresses and a third with information.

1. Laura Shields,  Laura is chair of  the Europe-wide branch of Liberal Democrats.

2. Paul Fisher, Chair of Liberal Democrats in France.



Expatriate Citizens Rights in the EU (Expatriate here includes all European citizens – not just Britons Abroad in the EU)

Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 10.03.33From now on I will not be posting many messages from the base I established many years ago of  Pensioners Debout! primarily in support of

I am putting my efforts, with others, into ECREU.  This is a non-party political venture. I am on the steering committee along with others amongst whom some previously have had long and most active associations with other political groupings, and many still retain those connections.

Please join ECREU  even if you live far away from Europe. I know many Britons Abroad  are concerned about the political scene in Europe.   join and so support – it’s free.

From now on ECREU may be the only way you receive information on the Vote.


May 2017 bring wisdom to the British Politicians and peace to us all.

Wes Anderson directed a Christmas commercial for H&M and it is great

by Bryan Bishop

You probably know filmmaker Wes Anderson from his meticulous, quirky, and outrageously charming movies like RushmoreFantastic Mr. Fox, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. What you may not know is that he’s also brought his unmistakeable style to the world of commercials for years, and this holiday season he’s made a short film for clothing retailer H&M.

In “Come Together,” Adrian Brody plays a conductor on the H&M Lines Winter Express railroad, who has to inform his passengers that due to unexpected delays the train won’t make it to its destination on time, effectively causing everyone onboard to miss Christmas. But the conductor has some ideas that could make the situation a little brighter for everyone.

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I’m softie as it is, so it doesn’t take a lot to get me emotional when it comes to the holidays and notions of family and friends, but in just under four minutes Anderson and Brody are able to push all the right buttons. Yes, there’s various pieces of H&M branding tucked inside the short at discrete moments, but let’s forget about the cynicism for now, and just focus on a sweet story told with style.

Originally published in The Verge

Definitely the best Christmas ad we’ve seen, better that a Boxer !

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Living in France with English Buy-to-Let investments – Protect yourself against property fraud.

by David Anderson, Sykes Anderson Perry Limited Solicitors London

This article is for general information only. Property 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.

It is quite common for people retiring to France to keep at least one property in England either as a buy to let rental property or as a pied à terre.

buy-to-let-paper-houses-1024x640-57ed8b9841b8f-57ed8b98600e7There is a lot to be said for this but it has some unexpected risks as you will probably not be aware of any fraudulent sale or remortgaging of the property. It is difficult to get any figures as to how prevalent this is but the risks increase considerably if you live abroad and do not know the tenant in your property. There is however something you can do for free to protect yourself.

HM Land Registry Properties Alert service allows anyone (not just the owner) to register for email alerts if there is any dealing or proposed dealing with a property. This allows anyone with an interest in a property to be instantly informed. The principal reason for the facility is to prevent property fraud, though it is also useful in other circumstances.

An example of a specific activity is someone trying to register a mortgage, or change the ownership of the property. The service is free.

Landlords who live abroad are particularly vulnerable to their tenants posing as the owner of the property and either selling the property fraudulently, or fraudulently obtaining mortgage finance on it. A landlord living abroad may not be aware of a “for sale” sign outside their property or the property being marketed in the local paper. This is why registering for the Land Registry Properties Alerts is strongly advisable for them.

December 2016  David Anderson  

Sykes Anderson Perry Limited  + 44 203 794 5959

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