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NewsletterFebruary 2011

History Uncovered

This reservoir powered the hydroelectric plant providing the first street lighting in Europe. The plant was located where I live, La Roche sur Foron. Last year was the 125th anniversary of the first street lighting. A project was under taken to restore the reservoir. This meant removing 100+ years’ worth of dirt!
The reservoir is on a ‘parcours familial’ - family hiking trails built a few years ago. Included in the hiking trails are numbered exercise stops.

Voeux à la Population

In France New Year cards are more popular than Christmas cards. Also very popular are New Year speeches, expressing best wishes for the New Year. This mostly means politicians, from the president down outlining plans for the coming year. I attended my local Voeux à la Population. There the mayor and two other local politicians spoke. Entertainment included live music, dance numbers and a preview of the local theater troupe's upcoming musicals. Two movies were shown: one about past town events, the other plans for the current year.

Making Crêpes

Last month I had a link to my wife’s recipe (how to video) for making a Galette des Rois. This month my wife has another recipe. It’s for making Crêpes (includes video), as Crêpes are traditionally eaten on February 2nd, Fête de la Chandeleur.

What’s new in 2011?

It now costs €23 to see a general practitioner in France.
An energy efficiency rating is now mandatory for all property for sale and rent in France.
Thanks to an increase in the TVA (value added tax) for the TV component of ‘triple play’ internet access in France, monthly ADSL bills will increase by about €1.50 to €2.00 per month.

France 101

There has been a scheduling change for France 101- a free webinar (online seminar). New time: Thursday, February 10th 2011 at 9pm French time, 3pm U.S. East Coast Time and noon West Coast Time. Please contact me if you wish to participate. So far over 30 people have signed up, don’t miss out! I’ll be sending out invitations soon. Make sure to mention France 101 in your email.

La Roche Bluegrass

The dates for the La Roche Bluegrass, my town’s yearly Bluegrass Festival is set. La Roche Bluegrass will take place from August 4th – 7th, 2011. See and hear last year's festival.

Never too Early

With taxes that is, if you want to get the jump on you’re tax return. I work with American accountant, Barron Harper. Barron is able to help you with your American and French tax returns. Barron's articles are posted on Americans in France. Reading the articles will help you get started learning about tax issues/preparation.


B&B/Gîte in Normandy, France: The Haven is a small English-run guest house in rural Normandy, France, offering B&B and Gîte (Self-Catering) accommodation. We have renovated an attractive old stone farmhouse, to provide comfortable accommodation, whilst retaining many of the original features. The house is in an elevated and peaceful setting, south-facing, with an acre of garden and beautiful views. It is situated on the outskirts of a small hamlet, in unspoiled, rolling countryside, halfway between St Lo and Mont St Michel. The nearest market town is Villedieu-les-Poeles, less than 15 minutes drive away, and the Normandy Landing Beaches are about an hours drive away.

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