Monday, 17 September 2012

Week 38 2012


Thank you so much for all your continued support and feedback – this week  the blog reached 10,000 hits, and rising.  So don’t forget to forward the link to your friends and I always like to hear of upcoming events so that I can share the information.

Atmospheric lighting for the lone pianist.
We’ve had a busy weekend with highs and lows.  The Jazz & Wine Concert at Chateau Franc Mayne was full of promise, but failed to deliver.  Not only was the saxophonist mysteriously absent, but the start, re-scheduled for 20h was unexplainably delayed, the first notes were played as the clock struck 9!  And don’t even get me started on the smell, it seemed to me that we were sitting on top of a particularly malodourous septic tank.  Having said that – the lighting on a magnificent oak tree was quite magical.

Following the concert we headed into St Emilion for the fireworks – WOW!  Fabulous! We had the ‘Parking Fairy’ in the car, and found a spot 200m from the Tour du Chateau where the display was held.  What a spectacular show. Have a look at (thank you

There’s still plenty to do in and around the Gironde and Dordogne.

Have a good week,

Best wishes,

Week 38

Monday 17 September

Tuesday 18 September

18 - 24 September 10h30 à 13h - 14 à 19h : Painting Exhibition (Oils and watercolours) by Jacques Grosjean at Logis de Malet, Saint Emilion.  Free Entry

18 September 15h – 17h :

Dear all, We are holding an "Afternoon Tea" at home, in aid of our local horse charity - ASHA -

ASHA does a fantastic job in south west France, rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming neglected or abused horses and ponies in distress. They rely totally on donations and all the staff are volunteers.

For a donation of €4, we will be supplying tea and coffee, plus sandwiches, scones, cakes and flapjacks, and you are welcome to wander round the gardens to enjoy your tea!
Everyone is welcome - please bring your friends, and forward this to anyone who you think might be interested.

Many thanks, Val and Maurice Newland, La Canconnette, Ferrensac 47330
0553 491 325
Directions: La Canconnette is on the V1, between Ferrensac and Pompiac. Ferrensac is on the right, about 3kms out of Castillonnes on the D2 heading west towards Villereal. From Ferrensac, take the right fork at the statue of Jesus towards Pompiac. You will pass Chateau Lamothe, and after two right hand bends you will find the house on the right.
Parking is limited, so please car-share if you can!

Wednesday 19 September

19 September  - 2 October : Exposition de Patchwork 14h – 18h at Salle Marc Amanieux, Port-Ste Foy. Info 05 53 73 05 14

Thursday 20 September

Friday 21 September

21 September 19h30 : Fete de la Gastronomie au Chateau Lestrille, discover and enjoy 5 professional workshops €40/person including wine.  Reservations and information 05 57 24 51 02

Saturday 22 September

22 -23 September : in 1908 Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, cycled round France in search of its medieval history.  In August of that year he arrived in Castillon and followed the trail of Richard the Lionheart along the Dordogne, visiting Montagne on the way.
With this in mind, a 2 day event has been set up « dans la roue de Lawrence d’Arabie ». 2 days of cycling and walking, taking in Castillon, St Michel de Montagne, Lac de Gurcon and the surrounding area.  There are cycle routes and walking routes.  To find out more go to  

22 September : Fete de la Gastronomie.  For more information and to find out a participating restaurant close to you go to
I see that the Belevedere is hosting an event.

22 – 23 September : Brocante Vide Greniers at the Stade, Saint Medard de Guiziers 33230


Sunday 23 September

23 septembre 10h - 18h : La Moto s'invite à La Gaffelière, Saint-Emilion. Free Entry to see the motorbike demonstration.

23 September : Vide greniers at Moulon Stade 33420

23 September : Brocant, Vide grenier and Fete Locale at Montguyon

23 September : Brocante Vide Greniers at the Stade, Saint Medard de Guiziers 33230

23 September : Vide grenier at St Exupery, 8km from La Reole

23 September : Les Puces De Coeur De Bastide organisé par l’Association Coeur De Bastide a Sainte Foy La Grande. Rue Victor Hugo et adjacentes.

Coming up…

Monday 24 September 20h45 : To Have and To Have Not (Le Port de l’angoisse) is showing in VO at Le Lascaux, Montpon Menesterol.  
Originally made in 1944.  Expatriate American Harry Morgan helps to transport a Free French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sexy lounge singer.  Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Walter Brennan.

And finally…

From: GALE, Roger []
Sent: 06 September 2012 13:51
To: GALE, Roger

For information.

Dear Sir Roger

We spoke yesterday about the enquiries you have received from former UK residents now living in France about recent changes to the rules on Winter Fuel Payments for people resident abroad.

Under EU law, people can in certain circumstances receive the Winter Fuel Payment if they are resident in another EEA country. Until recently, this was only possible if the person had first qualified for the WFP in the UK before they moved abroad, but in light of recent developments in EU case law the Government now accepts that, in certain situations, claims may be made by people who are already abroad when they reach the qualifying age.

Further information is given in DWP Memo DMG 31/12, Winter Fuel Payments – effect of CJEU judgment<>, August 2012. The claim form for Winter Fuel Payment 2012/2013 for people resident in another EEA country is available at Directgov<>.

As the Memo states, to receive a Winter Fuel Payment a person who was already living abroad when they reached the qualifying age will have to demonstrate a “genuine and sufficient link to the UK’s social security system”. It gives examples of situations where people would, and would not, satisfy this requirement.

The Memo goes on to consider how DWP “Decision Makers” should deal with backdated claims, new claims for a past period, reconsideration of old disallowances, appeals to a First-Tier Tribunal; and cases where a Tribunal has already made a decision.

When I contacted DWP about the change in July, they sent me the following background note:

Issue: Paying more Brits abroad the Winter Fuel Payment


- The judgment in the European Court of Justice (the Stewart case about the export of Invalidity Benefit (Youth) means that it is now possible that people living in the EEA and Switzerland may be entitled to Winter Fuel Payment even if they did not acquire it in the UK, provided the applicant has a genuine and sufficient link with the UK and satisfies the other WFP entitlement conditions. The judgment may also have implications for other EEA states and Switzerland. We can't comment on outstanding tribunal cases.

- There are around 440,000 people living in the EEA and Switzerland who are receiving a British State Pension. Not all of these people will satisfy the criteria for a WFP. Currently around 73,000 of them receive Winter Fuel Payments because they gained entitlement before they left the UK.

- It is difficult to know how much this would cost as we don’t know how many will satisfy the WFP criteria, including demonstrating a genuine and sufficient link with the UK may be a limit.

- EU rules mean that we already pay WFP to British pensioners living in the EEA and Switzerland. In 2010/11 we made 72,840 Winter Fuel Payments to people living in the European Economic Area and Switzerland - this represents less than one per cent of the total Winter Fuel Payments made in that year.

- The Winter Fuel Payment is a universal benefit that makes a significant contribution to British pensioner's fuel costs. But it is about help with fuel costs and we are looking at ways of limiting payments so they only go to those living in colder climates.


Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith said:

"We will protect taxpayers money and bring in a temperature criteria so payments can only be made to British pensioners living in cold climates."

Exactly how the Government might apply new temperature criteria to Winter Fuel Payment claims, and which countries might be affected, are not clear.


  1. I have downloaded the form with considerable hope but the main problem lies with the "qualifying period":

    "Your entitlement to a Winter Fuel Payment depends on your circumstances in
    the qualifying week. The qualifying week for winter 2012/13 is 17-23 September 2012".

    As I will not be able to prove residence in England for that week, I will not be eligible and that was the case when I made my first application in 2005.

    Can anyone advise on how one can legally get round this?

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