Sunday, 26 April 2015

Karen does the hard work

Hi Val
Another race done (photo attached).  Half marathon in Albi - very very warm.  Not a bad time.  In training for the Track Day - previous post.
Please sponsor me if you can, anything you can.  All mounts up.  Thanks to those who have already given & pledged.

Don't forget get - You donate, I do the hard work.
Many thanks
K up on the Bosc
Val says Karen who herself has had two cancer bouts, now clear, is running for someone with leukemia. She is one of my sporting heroes. Well done Karen.
If you have had or know someone who has suffered with cancer and that is most of us, you will want to help.

Laguepie Spring Plant Fair, we were all there.

hi Val,
Nice to see you in Laguepie. What a riot of colour. Came back with lots to plant (as if there is not enough to do). Met old friends, had a lovely coffee and staggered back to the car with trays of all sorts. Result! 
Have a nice quiet afternoon, while I disappear into the studio.
Best wishes Elly xx

Plant swap at Jardin des Espiemonts tomorrow

Monday, 27th May,  2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
If you have any plants or seeds to bring along that would be great, but it's not necessary, so if you can, come along and join us.
Lots of plants and seeds available for free,  plus good quality alpines, perennials, herbs and ornamental grasses for sale in our nursery.
Le Jardin des Espiemonts,
Metse, Les Espiemonts, 82160, Caylus.
Directions from Caylus

At the crossroads in the middle of Caylus take the road towards St Pierre Livron. Once in St Pierre Livron take the sharp left up onto the plataeu, signed for Camp du Caylus. Take the 3rd left, signed Les Espiemonts and Lasalle. Drive through Les Espiemonts (big house with Pigeoneer on right, poubelles on left). A couple of hundred meters on is a small cross roads and couple of houses; take the lane on the right, signed Metse. We are the 3rd house, half a mile down the lane.
Sat Nav co-ordinates



Laguepie Spring Plant Fair

So beautiful all the plants in the sun this morning but a storm is forecast later in the day.
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It will be alright on the night!

Dear Val

its 9.15 and I have already done 3hrs work for tonights concert at Puycelsi. Its not normally like this but on Friday as we went to collect the keys for the village hall where we give everyone lunch and tea the mairie's secretary looked at us in blank amazment and said it was let to another group for 4 days. So then we started our swan act, acting serenly and being nice to everyone. Before I drowned, the Mayor found us another hall but about 5km away and everything from toilet paper to the soup has had to be transported there and it will all need to be cleared this afteernoon as the local Keep Fit group use it at 10.00am tomorrow.

So now all we need is a choir and an audience. The choir is arriving and when the audience arrives tonight at 18.00hr I shall collapse and hopefully not fall asleep during the wonderful singing. Please come and join is and remember that it is only thundery showers which are forecast so even if you are having them chez vous we may well be clear. Program your recorder for Poldark just incase you are not home in time and have a spring night out.
Val says poor Ross and Ginny, we will all arrive and enjoy the concert and one never knows at these events just how much work goes in to them.  "It will be alright on the night" is a showbiz expression I believe.


Horse trading

26 people have been arrested, mainly in Belgium, but also Netherlands and France, in a widespread enquiry into illegal trading in horses for meat.
Two years ago Tesco discovered horse meat in what were labelled as beef burgers, precipitating an enquiry into the source. Despite French scorn at our squeamishness over eating horses, the scandal was traced back to France and even led to the closure of a major producer in SW France.
Now this enquiry by the Euro police has resulted in the unmasking of the "brain", a Belgian man and a chain of distribution via Marseille. French authorities have asked for extradition of suspects.
comments to

Plant fair at Laguepie

Sorry, cannot mess about this morning. We like to get to the plant fair  before the crowds with our Ikea bags for carrying the plants. Enjoy your sunny day readers.
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Carriages at Caylus

Published by Tourisme Caylus

Posters going up to warn of ticks and Lyme's disease

Seems very relevant when I am sitting with a pot in front of me with two ticks floating in soapy water, just taken off Max the cat with a tick fork.
At the points of departure on randonnées/ walks these notices warning of ticks and giving preventive measures  are going up throughout France. Each year in France 27 000 cases of  borréliose of Lyme are diagnosed. I hate the little beggars since Bonny has twice been ill with them.
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Balade ethnobotanique

nous sommes dimanche, le vingt six...

... and tonight is the concert at Puycelsi, something to really look forward to.
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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Who is responchouble for this?

Our French neighbour is a serious gatherer of mushrooms and responchous. We think he sells them to the local restaurants. On numerous occasions over the last two weeks we have seen him over our side of the hedge, gathering away like mad. We do not mind, it would be nice if he is asked but it is not a big deal. Tonight sitting on our terrace having supper, the dogs started barking and there lurking in the hedge was the elderly neighbour with arms full of responchous. We knew our hedge was prolific, the donkeys love them. The neighbour on hearing the dogs and seeing us standing up to see what was happening disappeared through a hole in the joint hedge! But hang on that hedge never had a hole cut into it; well it does now.
Well I never, what a cheek, it spoils the look of the hedge and gives the dogs another escape route if needed. Diplomatic relations mean we will not say anything, the man is a bit simple but can you imagine what a row there would be if we went and cut a hole in the hedge at his house. Then to top it all leaning over the terrace rail, there on my newly mown lawn, coming up exactly where I lifted out the sonic mole scarer is a new mole hill. French neighbours and French moles... what a liberty. (forgetting the equality and fraternity!)
For my now numerous French readers this is what we from the UK call sarcastic humour. We love the French really, even the moles.
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Lectoure in the Gers

Twice recently we have discussed a troisieme âge / pensioners club outing that we went on about 12 years ago. We went to Lectoure in the Gers, to a factory or distillery that made the colour blue pastel. It was made from a yellow flower and the colour was made by mixing with mens pee/ womens was no good. The men were paid to go and drink beer and then hand in their pee. The factory still worked on the old principles sans the wee , using a chemical instead. The factory had lovely clothes and  I bought a blue beret and Malc bought a shirt.
At that time we were too young for the troisieme age but we wanted to mix with the villagers. We had
 many happy trips, till the long lunches just got too much for us. Just found this advert for the tannery.
The yellow flower was woad

Folk'n'Jazz at Verfeil sur Seye, in the Salles des fetes.

This month's folk'n'jazz is on Thursday 30th April and will have a nautical theme.
As always Verfiel Salles des fetes , 8.00pm start and free entry.

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A dazed Woody

Hi Val
He hit our kitchen door with such force, sat there in a daze for a good half hour before moving again.  Had to keep an eye on him or Zola cat may well have made a meal of him.
K on the Bosc
Malc says Karen is a Chelsea supporter and Zola used to play for Chelsea. (the Italian - not the cat!)
Comments to

The Jury makes their choice, with a prize of 250 euros at stake.

Mardi 21 avril a marqué le véritable début du quatorzième festival du livre d'artiste de Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val (festival aussi nommé Sous couverture). Sous la houlette de Marie-Marthe Lafabrié, directrice de la médiathèque Amélie-Galup, un jury de professionnels des arts et de la culture a décerné deux prix parmi les douze artistes ayant proposé chacun une œuvre. Le livre gagnant sera dévoilé le dimanche 3 mai à 17 heures, dans la salle des congrès de la mairie, en même temps que le prix du public, pour lequel vous pourrez venir voter tout en visitant les magnifiques expositions (du samedi 25 avril au dimanche 3 mai de 10 heures à 17 heures). L'entrée est libre. De nombreuses animations accompagneront les expositions. Dès samedi, un atelier pliage papier (origami) sera proposé à la librairie Le Tracteur savant, par Ruthli Buchmann (de 14 h 30 à 17 h 30, à partir de 7 ans, payant). Et l'invitée d'honneur Katya Knight vous fera découvrir ses superbes œuvres dans la galerie du couvent des Génovéfains et vous initiera aux métamorphoses de papier que vous pourrez pratiquer avec elle le dimanche 26 de 10 heures à 12 h 30 et de 14 heures à 16 h 30, à partir de 7 ans, payant). Attention, les participants aux ateliers doivent s'inscrire sans tarder au 05 63 67 16 32 ou au 06 84 18 48 42.
The jury of local people connected with arts and culture deliberated under the helpful eye of mediatheque director Marie-Marthe Lafabrié the dozen or so entries for their choice as the most innovative, well made and appropriate "livre d'artiste" in this year's expo "Sous Couverture", part of the week long festival in St Antonin. The prize of 250 euros will be awarded next weekend along with the prize voted for by the public.
Malc represented Taglines (in his role of antiquarian bookseller) on the jury and really enjoyed listening to the artists as they made their decisions on some outstanding entries. You may be surprised at the choice they made, but go along to the Mairie, see for yourself and vote. Many workshops will be held over the week and reservations must be made to the numbers above.
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Places available for the donkey lunch

good morning everyone,

well it seems ive picked the wrong date this month as many of you have let me know you have prior arrangements for next week, TUESDAY 28 april.

Fund raising is especially important to us this month as weve just taken in a donkey who had been living alone and hasnt seen another donkey for over 20 years !  Lolita is her name and she is on a slow diet having stood in the same field for so long eating 24/7 !  She needs a vet visit and an id chip and passport to make her "legal".
When she was arrived she couldnt stop staring from a safe distance at all the other donkeys. She is already in a good routine sharing her field with Clarissa our new mum and baby Clarabelle and coming into her own stable at night next to these two.  She seems very happy to be among donkeys again.

Please if you can come let us know asap.  Our menu this month is tapas and paella, everyones favourite so we hope lots of you will want to repeat last years success.

Many thanks for your continued support.

Sauteed swallow

One of the problems with open doors and windows at this time of year is that birds looking for nesting sites tend to enter. In the last few days we have "rescued" two great tits, a redstart and this morning a swallow seemed to want to do a spot of cooking in the kitchen.
He moved from one pan handle to another as he tried to decide on the menu (forgive us for thinking that our French readers would have considered him for breakfast himself). A final look round from the door top, then out he flew.
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A concert in that church in the middle of Puycelsi, this Sunday

Puycelsi, that little gem in the Tarn. A wonderful concert there this Sunday.
Our Spring concert will be on 26 April and since the concert is a little later than last year all should be that much warmed. Tickets are available now and the prices are 15.00€ for adults and 10.00€ for student and children under 12 are free. They can be ordered from or 05 63 33 15 84
The picture below published by Tarn tourisme
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Toilets blocked the Port

"Une vraie histoire de chiottes" is how one union leader described the cause of a strike in the port of Marseille last week. Now as you all know, a "chiotte" is not a female puppy (chiot) but a fairly rude word for toilet (think of s***house).
Two trades unions share a building at the port with a joint toilet accessed from a door on each side's offices. The larger union, the CGT, decided to board up the entrance from the smaller union's (FO) side and duly arrived with planks and screwdriver. FO hearing the noise behind the door forced their way in and an altercation, including physical force, ensued, leading to intervention by the police.
FO complained and their members staged a strike, demanding management condemn the CGT for "violence in the workplace". The strike paralysed the port for several hours.
CGT leaders declined to comment, saying they had more important things to do - not more important it would seem than locking their comrades out of the loo.
comments to

Noble or kind deeds

There’s nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men.   Elijah Wood

 True nobility is being superior to your former self. – Hemingway

A reader told me I do "noble " deeds, and that worried me. What is the definition of noble? Somehow being noble smacks of being " too clever or superior"
I like the Hemingway quote being noble is being superior or better than you were. I have always loved and cared for animals and children and if now in retirement I can do more then it makes me happy.
 Kind deeds please not noble, and so many of us do kind deeds.
Mimi and Kevin, busy farmers looking after Coco the donkey for me, giving him his anti biotic injections, helping with the cost of castration... Why ? because they are kind.
Jo living over the road from Coco going and resocialising the donkey because she cares.
Karen who came to help with her horse transporter.
Everyone who comes to the opera and pays 10 euros for street children of Africa
A neighbour who offered to look after the foster dog whilst the opera was happening here.
The readers who helped an elderly reader when her husband was dying.
I could go on and on with kind deeds
We are surrounded by people being kind
Comments to

It is selling local that counts

The big pool abri has sold, the motored debroussailleuse has sold;  big items all sold  locally. Money for TAG charities and happy readers who have sold. So simple with local readers, one of the benefits of TAG sales and with the small donation to charity you feel good as well.
Comments to

What are Anne' s plans

Anne Alassane already has the TF1 Master chef title under her belt won in 2010 now she is entering Top Chef on M6 channel. Anne from Montauban, will also open a new restaurant at Montauban soon in the centre  called Chez Olympe. She is also known for her restaurant on the outskirts of Montauban called la Pays'Anne.
Anne as well as being a fine chef is a mental survivor coming bravely through losing two of her small children in a house fire in 2012. Story and picture from the Depeche.

Love Film

Old postcards of Caylus

Postcards of Luc Henri Fage of Caylus. Nice to see French troops on the march for a change. One of the men looks just like one of our neighbours.
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Nous sommes samedi, le vingt cinq

Translating le Petit Prince by Antoine de St. Euxpéry
Parce que chez moi c'est tout petit...
Ca suffira sûrement. Je t'ai donné un tout petit mouton.
 il pencha la tête vers le dessin.
Pas si petit que ça... Tiens! Il s'est endormi.
Et c'est ainsi que je fis la connaissance du petit prince.

Because where I'm from everything is small.
There will certainly be enough. I gave you a very small sheep.
He leaned his head towards the drawing:
Not that small.. look he's fallen asleep...
And that's how I met the little prince.
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Friday, 24 April 2015

The Parisot Literary Festival

- the Parisot literary festival
23, 24 & 25 October 2015
Join us for a safari supper 
A what?  A safari supper -  an evening where you eat each course of your meal at a different host's house, with a different group of
people.  A fantastic way to meet, mingle and mix
within the French and English communities.

The evening will start in the centre of the village at 19.00,
from where you will be given the directions to
your first course.

Tickets €15 per person for a three course meal and wine.

  Reservations essential.

To find out more or to book your place, reply to this email.
Like us on Facebook
Visit our website
Become a friend
Please forward this on to anyone you think may be interested in the festival - they can subscribe to our mailing list by emailing

If you wish to unsubscribe you can email


Shiny coat, beautiful soulful eyes and a very clever boy

Who am I?  let me tell you I answer to Otis and Eldo and anything my foster parents shout for me. I am obedient and loving and have so much to give a kind person. I am 9 months old, chipped and vaccinated. I love everyone, children, people, dogs and cats. I did have a rotten start in life with my first owner who was unkind but that is in the past and my three foster homes have been great. Sadly they are not a " real" home with " real" owners and that is what I am asking for now. Val and Malc say they are happy if you want to come and see me, but they are only looking after me and Kathy the dog chief in St. Antonin will want to come and check you have a fenced garden and that she thinks you are up to my high standard of care needed. I am a bit special.
Val says All foster parents cannot praise him highly enough, the most sensible puppy we have ever known and a charmer. He has written all that himself; well dictated it to me!
Comments to

Cannes 2015, the film festival line up

Comments to

Wisteria, looking splendid

So lovely to see the wonderful wisteria at this time of year.
K up on the Bosc
Comments to

Birdman at Milhars

Mardi 5 mai, c’est cinéma à Milhars !
Venez découvrir « Birdman », le film aux 4 Oscars (meilleur film, meilleur réalisateur, meilleur scénario et meilleure photographie)
de l’excellent  avec Michael Keaton et Naomi Watts à 20h30 salle Gérard Bosc.
« À l’époque où il incarnait un célèbre super-héros, Riggan Thomson était mondialement connu.
Mais de cette célébrité il ne reste plus grand-chose, et il tente aujourd’hui de monter une pièce de théâtre à Broadway dans l’espoir de renouer avec sa gloire perdue. Durant les quelques jours qui précèdent la première, il va devoir tout affronter : sa famille et ses proches, son passé, ses rêves et son ego…
S’il s’en sort, le rideau a une chance de s’ouvrir..."
« Que vous aimiez le cinéma populaire ou d'auteur, le pop-corn ou les prises de tête,
il ne faut pas passer à côté de cette performance. » Femme Actuelle
« Une merveille, un film éblouissant. » Le Nouvel Observateur
«  "Birdman" est une oeuvre qui n'a pas peur de se montrer, à la fois émouvante et prétentieuse.
Baroque et passionnante. Glaçante, brûlante, jamais tiède. » L'Express
« Du grand spectacle ! » Public

La bande annonce ici.
Le film vous sera présenté en Version Originale (anglaise) Sous Titrée en Français.

Rendez-vous le mardi 5 mai !

Harmonie de Figeac

Bonjour,Je me permets de partager avec vous cet article de l'édition d'aujourd'hui de La Dépêche.
Bonne lecture!
Peter Nowfel

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Lost dog

Hello Val,
I believe you were talking to my husband Bernard yesterday & suggested that I send you details of our dog Olga,who went missing last Thursday in the Le Cuzoul/Parisot area.I’ve attached a photograph of her ,as you can see she is a lovely looking dog ,with a gentle character to match.She is chipped ,so I’m some still holding out some hope ,but I would be so grateful if you could put a post on tag .We have HAD OUR PHONE & INTERNET CUT OFF AS WE ARE soon moving house 9though just next door ,so the only contact is on my mobile ….0609094160  ,I don’t mind the phone number being posted .
Thank you so much for offering to help,I know lots of dog lovers read TAG.
Andie (Andrea)

Donkey tales that make you feel good.

Morning Val
That is such great news for Coco, he is such a sweet boy and really gentle but lonely.
I have been taking him out each day and he is fine, except Tuesday when he got spooked not sure why , but he bolted I ended up on my bum, but bless him when I called he stopped and waited for me to catch up ! (my bottom is suffering still)
He is now good with my dogs and this morning he and Betty had a kiss.
He is so lovely to cuddle and rests his head on you for a snooze, just loves a groom and is fine with his feet. He now follows me around the field and adores a kiss !
I sadly do think he has been hit though, this morning I waggled his carrot at him and he seriously flinched.
I am sure he will be a joy for his new owner , lucky man.
Well done you .
Love Jo x
Val says  how fortuitous that you are so close for him, Jo. He is being a lucky lad now and I know the French guy Maxim will treat him with care and with the respect  he deserves. I also love the way he rests his head on your shoulder and cuddles in.     Comments to

What's in a name?

The party led by Nicholas Sarkozy has been called the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) and is in the Gaullist tradition of right of centre paternalism, but has decided to change its name.
Now to be known as "Les Republicans" it also marks a move towards more liberal politics in the style of Britain's Conservative Party (though not so extreme as its US namesake).
The move is not without controversy; France being a constitutional republic others have claimed the name is not to be used by one faction. Even within its own ranks the change is not liked by the majority - though we suppose that is the point about conservatives: they don't like change.
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Two deaths in the centre of town

At  Villeneuve-sur-Lot (Lot-et-Garonne) two bodies have been found, both unconnected. A lady of 60 who must have been dead many months as the body was mummifying and a young man of 27 found in his flat. Always seems so sad when someone dies without being missed. Both were under "tutelage" of social services - but had refused to see their tuteur.
Comments to 

Origami workshop tomorrow

Workshop at Librarie Le Tracteur Savant
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Can be seen in a book shop window in St. Antonin Noble Val

All part of the celebration of books of artists. Tomorrow and Sunday books in the competition will be
on display in the town hall. If you like books and art you will want to be there.
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The beer of a young Mas de Sol brewer

Un oubli dans mon mail précédent... Vendredi 24 avril lors du concert des MÊME PAS CAP, vous pourrez boire de la bière locale.
Blonde, blanche et ambrée venant de la brasserie de LUX ( LUC ).
A bientôt !
Val says  tonight at the Seye et Vous our young French neighbour will have on sale his artisanal beer.
Comments to
Malc says: I've tried it and it is good...

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Nous sommes vendredi, le vingt quatre

Interesting hein!

Art exposition by Jeannie Edelblut

Hi Val
I am so glad to see all the loving attention Coco
is receiving. I wish I could be there to continue
caring for him but I had to return to my current
house rental on the Lot river in the north
Aveyron. Last Fall when I failed to find a
suitable rental in the TAG region I came here to
try out this area. While it is beautiful and more
mountainous here near St Geniez d'Olt, I am still
hoping to find a rental in the TAG area
eventually, so here's calling out for any future
rental opportunities. Planning ahead is necessary
as one is required to give 3 months notice when
leaving a house rental in France.
Val has kindly flattered me saying I am a
"brilliant" artist...but that does make me
uncomfortable with the bar set so high. Like
most artists I have good moments but mostly I
struggle with doubt and with how to find the
energy and inspiration to create consistently
good work. I am having an exhibit for the season
in the lobby of the Chateau Ricard, located in
the center of St. Geniez d'Olt. If any TAG
readers venture this way let me know. By the way,
this area is considered a paradise for fishermen
where the Lot river becomes a lake due to the dam

Ca tombe bien/ it falls well: meaning it could not have worked better.

I get so excited, you cannot believe what I am like, unless you know me well.
When do you get a chance at nearly 70 to take a young handsome chap in to a beautiful meadow and kiss him all over. Well I got that chance today.
Malc says "steady on you only kissed him on both cheeks," I would have kissed him on any cheek presented I was so happy.
So you want the story from the beginning?

One of my donkey chums in Varen is Maxim who lives in an hameau near us, works in Unicor in Varen and is a really nice steady young man. We have an affinity being animal lovers and I have known for some time he had a donkey. Often as we have talked I have said "but you need two donkeys" He has always replied, my donkey lives with a brebis ( for those learning French pronounced "brubis" and meaning a sheep)
He has always impressed me with his love of animals and we have spent many times discussing attelage and training donkeys to pull carriages. He has spent the time training and now his donkey is quite adept at carriage pulling and is often seen around the lanes.
Anyway today I was telling him the Coco story and he admitted he felt his castrated male donkey needed a friend.
We arranged in his lunchtime to go and see Coco to see how he felt about him. When we arrived Coco was peeping shyly out of his tin shed, I called him and he came out, but I left it to Maxim to make the running. Maxim stroked his ears talking gently, then calmly picked up his hooves to look at his badly deformed sabots. I assured him we had the marechal/ blacksmith coming Tuesday or Wednesday and that they would be sorted.
The big question was " did he like him"
Maxim said "he is a beauty, I like him and I would love to have him" It was at this point I unrestrainedly threw myself upon him, Maxim not the donkey. The young lad then took lots of pictures on his phone, you know when someone is really pleased. He has plans to train the two donkeys for attelage. I know he spends hours with his one donkey and will do the same with Coco.
From this lunchtime meeting Malc and I went to Charlie's for lunch and I had to go round all the French people (many I knew) telling them of the happy story. It was obvious I was delighted and I think it made the diners happy as well. Charlie was full of smiles and said to customers " it had nothing to do with me, it was Mme. Johnstone!"
Comments to
Ann says   Love a happy ending, and a new beginning
Lorraine says    you know how to make people smile.
Jeannine says   Wow! I cried
Malc says   - one less donkey for us  phew!

Concert at La Seye et vous

     Bonjour le amis,
 Vendredi 24 avril nous accueillerons le groupe " LES MÊME PAS CAP ".
C'est pour nous un grand plaisir de partager LA SEYE ET VOUS avec cette bande d'amis.
LES MÊME PAS CAP c'est des voix, des chansons mais surtout de la générosité et du partage !
Alors venez nombreux profiter de beaux moments chaleureux à partir de 19h30.
Renseignements : 05 63 65 22 18.
Au menu : Hachis parmentier au boeuf et canard confit - Assiette végétarienne et des desserts.
A trés bientôt !

The plant Fair this Sunday at Laguepie

Plant fair this Sunday at Laguepie,
3rd of May At Bruniquel
10thof May at Caylus
Comments to

It looks like we are up for another Picnic in the Park

Bonjour Val
Always working hard for your friends of the French colony! I love
Yes, it should be great to give a concert at Mas del Sol for the Mali's kids

Connors : a very nice boy and a performing teacher:  we are 4 talking twice a month with him ( 2 engineers, one doctor and Air France employee)

Val says  Martin's Jazz Band came last summer and performed for us, on our Picnic in the Park evening a charity event for Via Sahel Enfants d'Afrique.
This morning I was contacted by Deddy saying "We are up for it, are you?"
He also in a later post makes reference to Connor Stickler, an English student at Toulouse who is teaching the band English arranged by an advert onTAG.
How important these contacts are with our French friends, we love it.
Date of the Jazz evening to be decided and discussed.
Comments to

Romy died at 43 of cardiac arrest

Romy Schneider (23 September 1938 – 29 May 1982) was an Austrian-born film actress who held German and French citizenship. She started her career in the German Heimatfilm genre in the early 1950s when she was 15. From 1955 to 1957 she played the central character of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Austrian Sissi trilogy. In 1958 she met Alain Delon and they became engaged; Schneider moved to France where she made successful and critically acclaimed films with some of the most notable film directors of that era. Her engagement to Delon ended in 1963 and Schneider subsequently married twice. The son from her first marriage died in an accident in 1981 when he was 14. In May 1982, aged 43, Schneider was found dead of cardiac arrest in her Paris apartment.
comments to

Phillipe Noiret

Philippe Noiret was one of French cinema's most familiar faces who appeared in more than 140 films in a career that spanned more than half a century.

He was born on October 1, 1930, in Lille, Nord, France, into a middle class family of shopkeepers. His father was fond of literature. Young Noiret attended the College Janson-of-Sally in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. At school, he was more interested in acting than in academics; he failed to pass his baccalaureate exams three times and left school without graduation. He studied acting at the Centre Dramatique de l'Ouest (Western Drama Theatre). There, in 1950, Noiret made his debut sharing the stage with Gérard Philipe under directorship of Roger Blin. From 1953 - 1960 Noiret was a permanent member of the troupe with the Théâtre National Populaire (TNP) in Paris. There he played over 40 roles in seven years under directorship of Jean Vilar. While there he met actress Monique Chaumette, whom he married in 1962, and they had one daughter, Frederique. At that time Noiret continued his acting career as a stand-up comedian and a night club entertainer.

Val says Malc and I were discussing Phillipe and Romy and wondered if they were still alive. He died in 1960 from cancer.
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It's so French

The sound of accordion music is somehow quintessentially French and Montricoux on Friday evening (24th April) will be dancing to the sound of various players and orchestras. The salle des fetes is hosting an evening of "Accordions dansants", 21h and 13.50 euros.

Moi je suis francaise

The reason given by Marine Le Pen for not answering American journalists' questions when she was in New York for Time magazine's celebration of its 100 most influential people in 2014.
It seems normal that someone should be unable to speak a foreign language, even English, but the leader of the Front National gave a rather insular reason for her inability to speak the language of her hosts.
"I am one of the 80% of French people who do not speak English" she said; fortunately one of her fellow FN colleagues was able to act as interpreter. Dressed in a blue dress (what else?) Mme Le Pen was on a world stage - however slight - for the first time and suggested that as she would soon be in power it was useful practice to mingle with the high and mighty (mainly film stars this time).
Faux naïve?
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Le Vieux Fusil, DVD now ordered

Le Vieux Fusil is a film made 40 years ago and scenes were shot at Montauban and Bruniquel. The film was directed by Robert Enrico and was a French and German collaboration. Romy Schnieder and Philippe Noiret were the stars. It is the history of the massacre at Oradour sur Glane and the debarkment of the division SS Das Reich from Montauban to Normandy.  I am going to see if I can buy the DVD for a showing here at Mas del Sol. Let me know those of you who might be interested in watching.  In the photo shown it is so obvious the extras are not the real Das Reich from their relaxed body language.Photo and info. from the Depeche.  Comments to

Nous sommes jeudi, le vingt trois

Translating Le Petit Prince
Et je lancai:
Ça c'est la caisse. Le mouton que tu veux est dedans.
 mais je fus bien surpris de voir s' illuminer le visage de mon jeune juge:
C 'est tout à fait comme ca que je le voulais! Crois tu qu'il faille beaucoup d' herbe à ce mouton?

And I snapped:
This here is the box. The sheep you want is inside.
But I was very surprised to see the face of my young judge light up:
It's exactly the way I wanted! Do you think this sheep needs a lot of grass?
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

What a lovely idea

Hi Val
I'm going to make a variety of little cakes this year and decorate them with lily of the valley
- all edible and all packaged up so they would make a lovely unique gift for 1st May. 5€ each
Collection from Septfonds Thursday 30th April. Orders need to be received by Sunday 26th
Would you let your readers know please
Many thanks

Quite a funny story

A man of 35 was seen chasing a young woman down the road in the Matabiau quarter in Toulouse. The man  chasing the young girl had no clothes on!!  He was caught by " fonctionnaires" of the police. What was he up to? He had been with a prostitute and just got his kit off when the young lady grabbed his wallet and all his documents and ran off. The man gave chase. The young lady thief was later caught.  Gosh , he got more fun than he had bargained for. Hope he was not married as one can imagine by-standers with their phones and the man being all over facebook!  Comments to 

A lovely menu at the donkey sanctuary

dear everyone
we have an exciting menu for you here at lavolvene next tuesday 28 april, starting with
an aperitif with tasty tapas choices
paella, or
our vegetarian paella
either apple pie with cream, or
lemon mousse
please let us know you can come and choose your desert.
 It's still only 15 euros which is incredibly good value for a good lunch out.
This is our main fundraising revenue and these lunches each month help to see us through the coming year with all the costs involved from the vets for treatments, worming, vaccinations etc, the regular visits from the farrier, endless deliveries of hay and straw and bedding, not counting the cost of carrots !!

Thank you all so much for your support.

Antigymnastique at Milhars

Bonjour Valérie,
I heard from Yvonne very warm comments on your opera evenings;  she told me you would agree to mention my coming antigymnastique workshops on your blog, I wrote the following text, tell me if it's ok or too long.
Thank you very much, I hope we will meet sometime.

Milhars, vallée de Bonnan, welcome to our country house! 

Antigymnastique® workshops (French and English)
From Friday, May 1st to Sunday May 3rd,
From Monday May 4th to Tuesday May 5th,
From Friday May 8th to Sunday May 10th.

Antigymnastique® focuses on the entire being : body and mind are intertwined.
Get rid of the contractions, stiffness, muscle and joint pain that exhaust you, shrink you and restrict your freedom.
During 3 or  5 hours/day I will make you discover the benefits of this powerful body work :  improved mobility and muscle tone, decreased stress and muscular tension (back, neck, shoulders, etc.), improved ease of movement and coordination. Your mouvements and your breathing regain their natural volume and you discover the pleasure of living in a body that is autonomous and free.

I have been a practitioner for the last 9 years, I hold regular classes in Fontenay sous Bois (94).

Brigitte Bruneau
Praticienne certifiée d'Antigymnastique

7 rue Médéric
94120 Fontenay sous Bois
09 50 74 40 61

Stages dans le Tarn et dans le Jura en mai et juillet -

Val says at the last two opera evenings Yvonne has raved about this lady so defintely worth a try.

Fluffy dogs and tomato plants

One reader on facebook wonders if TAG would prefer fluffy dogs and tomato plants than upset the French!
Gosh! I appear to upset people with controversial posts as well as the fluffy dog type. I think he must be a new reader and has not seen the controversial posts  we can cover.
French or English we do not want to upset anyone, we want you to enjoy the read.
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Best day ever coming up at Laga

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A little souci

Hi Val
How nice to see the Mayor hob-nobbing with powers that be on the
Photovoltaic site! Such a pity he cannot persuade them to remove the empty cable drums
that have been in Prat St Serge for the last six months!
John Taylor
Val says how annoying John, that sounds like a question you should be pursuing with Marcia Scott, our councillor. Why would they need to have put anything on Prat St Serge which is principally a housing site? Have they not taken enough land, we have passed and wondered what they were? Too much to hope they were going to give us fibre optic cabling for our internet!
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Love old sports cars?

Then look out for the Optic 2000 rally passing through the Tarn tomorrow (Thursday 23rd April). En route from Clermont to Toulouse the classic cars, mainly dating from the 1950s, will be at the Albi motor racing circuit at around 15.30. They will then take the Tarn valley arriving in Marssac at about 17.30, before heading on to Toulouse.
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Montauban hospital under threat

Residents of the Montauban/Castelsarrasin/Moissac corridor are to demonstrate in the departmental capital at the Health authorities HQ against plans to reduce considerably the orthopaedic beds in two local public hospitals. Many readers will think that one can simply use the private clinics, but without a comprehensive insurance cover they can be expensive. As many as 50% of such beds could go in the re-organisation. The demo will be held on Monday 28th April.
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Bully boy tactics shunned

Hotel reservation website has agreed to allow hoteliers in France to charge cheaper Internet prices after a spate of legal challenges, the French competition authority said Tuesday.  Val says I dislike the strangle hold has over the hotel trade and try not to use it now booking directly with the Hotel.  I hate bully boy tactics. 

Spy, saboteur, hero

photo BernardLanglais/AFP
Robert "Bob" Maloubier who died yesterday (Tuesday 21st April) aged 92, had a life reminiscent of a real life James Bond. He left France aged 19 to join the British forces during the second was and was recruited into Churchill's "secret army" the SOE. Twice parachuted into France to lead sabotage operations and organise resistance groups, Bob received the DSO from King George VI.
After the war he helped to set up French frogman service, including designing the most successful underwater watch.
Last year, during the 70th anniversary of the liberation invasion, he was awarded an OBE by the Queen. His dapper presence became familiar in documentaries and TV programmes in recent times.
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Sporting or artistic achievements here in France

Tell TAG of your sporting or artistic achievements, be proud.
We have one reader who has recently won a dressage competition, not easy I suspect to get into horse competitions and win in France.
Another reader who regularly does well in running marathons here in France and Europe.
We had a reader who won a first at sheep dog trialing with his border collie.
If you have won and art or literary competition pass it on to our readers. It will inspire others.
if you child wins the egg and spoon race at school, let TAG know. Let us be proud of our sporting and artistic achievements here in France.
Malc says Roger and I won 8 euros playing boules last summer in the Varen nocturne, would that count? Certainly would if you do it again this year.
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Nous sommes mercredi, le vingt deux

There has been some discussion with a reader who thought missing out the " le" was more accurate French. Having asked two French people, one of whom was a teacher, we think the "le vingt deux" is more than acceptable. Thanks to the reader who pointed it out. By querying it is the only way we learn what is accurate.
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

I made a comment about Moonface, you knew who he was I think?

You all remember Moonface from the Enid Blyton stories I am sure. I mentioned with a swollen face I looked a bit like Moonface.

The Mayor of Varen at the inauguration of the photovoltaic site

The developers Amarenco, an Irish company, and Xenium Capital, an Irish partnership company were in Varen today for a ceremony with the Mayor of Varen to inaugurate the new electricity station at the old Lafarge cement factory. Electricity from photovoltaic panels.
Gareth Brown took the photograph, the Mayor in case he reads this is the grey haired distinguished chap with glasses.

Beautiful, beautiful boy, sang John Lennon to his son

... and we sing it to Coco. Here he is this afternoon, we are strip grazing the field, as there is a lot of rich grass there. In the bottom picture Coco is in his den, the top of an animal truck which works brilliantly. Notice the blue on his legs.His hooves are in a terrible state again and we are hoping we can get the marechal to him next week. Once his hooves are sorted he should be kicking up his heels with joy.
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