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If you are like most people, you probably have a lot of Euro coins laying about in drawers, bowls, handbags, coat pockets, piggy banks, under sofa cushions, etc. With all good intentions, you are expecting to use them one day... either to pay parking meters or take to a bank to cash in. But when was the last time you did just that? If the answer is never, then you will be delighted with the EuroCycleur machines dotted about across the border in France.

These machines are wonderful! All you need to do is take your coins, dump them in the machine, and hey presto... out comes a voucher to use at the accompanying supermarket. You can look up addresses at this link but we know for sure there are two in the area we have seen with our own eyes. Carrefour Poterie Ferney-Voltaire and Migros Thoiry. Some other markets such as Migros Etrembières, Carrefour, Leclerc, Cora, Intermarché, Super U - Hyper U, Brico Leclerc, and Géant Casino are also offering this service.

The supermarkets are charged a fee for this machine but you, as the client, are not. The only criteria is that you must use your voucher for the supermarket where the machine is located. The voucher is valid for 2 days from the date you print it out and you must use the entire voucher at once. No change is given for purchases where the price is less than the voucher. You must also only use this at a cashier and not at the self check-out counters.


If you are looking for an original creative item, either as a treat for yourself or a gift for others, then The Pop-up Shop in Divonne-les-Bains is a great place to look.

Located just across the road from the Quatre Vents Tea Rooms, the shop is a popular initiative introduced by the Mairie of Divonne to showcase the work of small artisan businesses in the area.  By renting the space on a monthly basis, these highly skilled creators have the opportunity to market their goods locally without the prohibitive costs of long-term shop rental fees.

This autumn the shop is featuring original vintage jewelry designed by Debbie Willis of Bede's Beads, along with an attractive range of scarves and bags produced by Lut Lemaire, a Belgian expat living near Divonne. Describing her jewelry pieces to knowitall.ch, English expat Debbie told us,

“I have been designing and making 'one-of-a-kind' Jewellery for over 10 years using vintage, semi-precious and artisanale components. I love the idea of using pieces that have been loved and treasured, adorning women for up to 2,000 years - my oldest beads currently are 1st/2nd century Bactrian Amazonite and Roman Glass from a similar period. I like to combine beads from around the world sometimes in a single necklace, some of them have travelled three continents before meeting in one of my designs!”


New regulations have been announced concerning the amount of merchandise that you can bring over the border from France into Switzerland.

From 1July, anyone traveling through customs, will be able to bring up to Fr. 300.- of goods per day for their own personal consumption, or as a gift to someone else, duty free. Any goods over this amount will be subject to 8% TVA, or 2.5% TVA for goods such as books and non-alcoholic drinks.

As before, there will also be limits on the quantity of goods brought through customs. However, there are some changes. Notably you can bring:

  • 1kg of meat (Includes meat and meat products derived from all animal species, excluding wild animals, fish, crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates.)
  • 1 kg/l or butter and cream
  • 5kg/l or oils, fats and margarine
  • 5l of alcoholic drinks up to 18% volume (Min age 17)
  • 1l of alcoholic drinks over 18% volume (Min age 17)
  • 250 cigarettes / cigars (Min age 17)
  • 250g of other manufactured tobacco (Min age 17)

The following taxes will apply to any goods, which exceed the limits above:

  • Meat: Fr. 17.- per kg
  • Butter and cream: Fr. 16.- per kg/l
  • Oils, fats, and margarine: Fr. 2.- per kg/l
  • Alcoholic drinks up to 18% volume: Fr. 2.- per l
  • Alcoholic drinks over 18% volume: Fr. 15.- per l
  • Cigarettes or cigars: Fr. 0.25 per item
  • Other manufactured tobacco: Fr. 0.10 per g

It is worth noting that there are no longer any limits on the amount of milk, eggs or cut flowers you bring over the border. However, there is a change in the amount of meat you can bring as this has now all been grouped together under one category, with a total limit of 1kg.


How much would you pay for this box of nails, screws, and hooks? After living in Switzerland for so many years and thinking I know it all about where to get the best price for just about anything, I was amazed and speechless (and that is not easy for me) to find such a great deal.

After having a brain-wave about how to display car-related items in my 15-year-old son's room, I went on the search to find one fence panel on which I could hang the items - difficult in the winter. Intensive research, phone calls, and trawling the net, led me to SAMSE in St. Genis, France. Although they wouldn't sell me a single fence panel, they did suggest I buy one of the metal grids that builders use for laying cement as an alternative. Here is my invention for hanging all the car stuff from little "S" hooks from the grid. They can be moved about as necessary. Believe it or not, the 2 units (each measuring 1m x 2m) cost a total of €7.50! The chains are hung from the wooden beam that is at the top of this wall from the screw hooks pictured below (the chains were bought at La Boîte à Outils).


Come and celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Jim’s British Market in St. Genis-Pouilly this Saturday, 2nd June, 2012.

You don’t need to be British to join in the festivities  - everyone is welcome and the party will begin at 12 noon, continuing all afternoon through to 5pm.

Jim is currently decorating the shop with flags, bunting and balloons to get everyone in the party atmosphere!  There will be music and karaoke for the adults, as well as face painting for the children.  

And there will be a wide range of food and snacks provided, including a ploughman’s lunch, sandwiches, chips, jubilee cup cakes, and jelly and cream!  The normal tea room menu will not be available throughout the day – visit Jim's website to view the full menu of the day.

For anyone wishing to carry on the Jubilee theme after the party, or simply to take a momento away with them, there will also be the opportunity to buy various Jubilee edition biscuit tins and chocolate.

For the moment, the weather forecast is looking promising, so put the date in your diary now!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Jim’s British Market
147 Rue du Mont Rond
Zone de l'Allondon
St. Genis-Pouilly
01630 France
+33(0)4 50 42 04 18
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