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NewsletterOctober 2012

Burgundy is More than Wine

The above photo is from the Musée de la Mine in Blanzy. This museum centers on the puits Saint-Claude - Saint-Claude mine shafts, tower in the photo is one of the shafts. Blanzy is in Burgundy's 'rust belt' between Le Creusot and Montceau-les-Mines. I visited the Musée de la Mine during Journées européennes du Patrimoine - European Heritage Days. I also visited Le Creusot, once home of the Schneider steel empire. The Château the Schneiders lived in, Château de la Verrerie is now a museum - Ecomusée. Across the street from the Château where once a steel mill stood, is now a park - Jardin des Terrasses, university campus and library.
The Musée de la Mine and Château de la Verrerie are on La Route du Patrimoine in the area between Le Creusot and Montceau-les-Mines. There is also a brick factory museum in Ciry-le-Noble, canal museum in Ecuisses and school museum in Montceau-les-Mines.
European Heritage Days is all about discovering places normally closed to the general public. Two highlights for me were: Château de Bresse sur Grosne and Les fours á plâtre in Berzé-la-Ville. The oldest parts of the Château de Bresse sur Grosne, date to the 14th century. On the Château grounds is an 12th century chapel, dove cove, pond and vineyards.
Les fours á plâtre or fours á gypse were operational until the end on the 19th century. The fours - ovens cooked gypsum, used in plaster and as a fertilizer. The ovens are located above a former gypsum mine and across the street from the plaster factory.


I've been busy with my podcast. During the last month I've talked with Mary Jo Delaney living on the French Riviera and Samantha Gadenne in Paris. I also talked with Anne Trager (not yet edited) from Le French Book. She reminded me there are giveaways related to book launches on October 9th for Treachery in Bordeaux and October 23 for The 7th Woman. Treachery in Bordeaux is a whodunit, featuring a wine making detective.


The French government just unveiled the 2013 budget. It can best be described as 10/10/10. Each 10 represents €10 billion and adds up to €30 billion in tax raises and savings. The simplistic explanation is there will be €10 billion in new income taxes, including the famous 75% tax on income over a million euros, €10 billion in new business taxes, largely the closing of tax breaks and €10 billion in government cuts, most of which consist of a freeze on government spending. It's all about getting the French deficit down to 3% (from 4.5% this year) of GDP by the end of 2013 and balancing the books by 2017. France hasn't had a balanced budget in over 35 years.
The budget and soon to be ratified EU fiscal treaty aren't making life easy for President François Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Both of whom have seen their approval ratings fall faster than a kilo of Comté. They are caught between a rock and a hard place of campaign promises and economic reality. Unlike many countries in Europe, France has yet to suffer austerity. In fact Hollande campaigned against austerity (and the EU fiscal treaty) and for growth. The problem is France doesn't have the money to spend its way out of recession. Hollande was only able to obtain token spending for growth added to the EU fiscal treaty. In short Hollande/Ayrault are pushing through a budget and treaty that runs counter to campaign promises and their political base.


Andy Sundberg the founder of American Citizens Abroad (ACA) passed away at the end of August. Andy's ACA is the only organization that lobbies solely for the rights of overseas Americans. If you're an American living outside the US (or would like to someday) you need to be a member of this wonderful group!

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An Unofficial Guide To Disneyland Paris: Have kids and thinking of going to Disneyland Paris? Then check out this app written by a mother of two just for parents like her.
Guide2RhoneAlpes: English language resource for the region, with information on property, accommodation, local businesses, events, news, discount vouchers and more.
Okoshken Law Firm: Estate Planning, Income Tax Returns, Visa and Work Permits, Retiring in France and Labor Law from the Paris, France Law Offices of Samuel H. Okoshken.
Pecan Folies: Run by an American who arrived in France in 1970 and set up Pecan Folies nearly 11 years ago, mainly because she was tired of buying expensive and often rancid pecans to satisfy her pecan cravings. The rest is history...
FACT (French American Center of Tuffe): This association is created to help in the inter-exchanges of American and French cultures. We will be putting primarily teenagers , but older citizens too, to the task of "giving of their time" in exchange for a chance to experience another culture by means of "sponsorship" in France as well as in the USA. We wish to find french and american partners/host families who may be interested in participating in the same program so their kids too can get a chance to come to France for an exchange with the least amount of funds possible. The first trip to the USA is tentatively scheduled for April vacation 2014! See B&B below. Offers tourists, expatriates and businessmen the opportunity to connect with Parisian hosts of similar interests and discover the French "art de vivre" by dining in their homes.


Tuffé B&B: Next visit in Sarthe, why not stay with us at our B&B with an American family in Tuffé.
Tuffé, a Charming and Historic cozy village located just 30 km outside of Le Mans 35 minutes by car and 13 minutes by train to Connerre. (the village next door) "ALL Commerce/Convenience" the beautiful lake of Tuffé provides 3 star camping, fine restaurants, mini golf, swimming, wall climbing, paddle boats and more. Come enjoy the local fresh products, from freshly made butter to the best homemade cheeses you've never tasted, not to mention the wines...
If you are looking for an easy, restful adventure in the French countryside, call or write to us, we will help you put together a perfect retreat at our B&B! The village, this charming place has also become a "linguistic destination"; you now have choices in services, host families ready to welcome you in many languages such as English, French, German and more. So "I do not speak or understand French" is no longer a valid excuse! Come see us during the 24 Heures du Mans, a regular holiday, a linguistic one (to learn French or English or any other language) or send us your kids for a "cultural exchange opportunity" of a lifetime. Why not consider Tuffé your next vacation destination for the whole family. We promise that you will make new friends and "fall in love" with the "á la française style" of living with an American touch!

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