Thursday, 17 April 2014

Cannes Film Festival

Two of the greats of British cinema, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, are to go head to head at this year's Cannes film festival, more than two decades since they first sparred for one of the most prestigious prizes in the film world.
The pair first competed at the premier European film festival in 1993, when Loach won the jury's prize for Raining Stones and Leigh walked away with the best director accolade for Naked.
This year, Leigh's biopic Mr Turner and Loach's Jimmy's Hall are among the 18 films selected to debut at the event, which opens on 14 May, and both will compete for the Palme d'Or.  Comments to

La Seye et Vous in concert

 Bonjour à tous,
 Changement de programme, le groupe Jasé ne pouvant venir comme prévu, nous accueillerons le duo "DAVK" en concert le vendredi 18 avril à partir de 19h30 à la Seye et vous.
DAVK, (guitare-chant, batterie),entre compos et reprises, un répertoire de chansons poétiques et festives.
Chansons qui nous amènent vers un ailleurs, un monde forcement meilleur...
Au menu : Hamburgers de la Seye.
D'autre part pour le week end de pâques nous proposons un menu à 26€ :
- Mise en bouche
- Tartare de saumon  ou  Tartine escargots
- Souris d'agneau  ou  agneau Korma  ou  Truites de la Seye
- Dessert maison
Prochaine date à retenir 
 Vendredi 2 maiGilles Carles et Jean Luc Amestoy en concert sous la halle.
Renseignements : 06 63 65 22 18.
A bientôt !

A Spring wedding at Mas del Sol

Bonny looking regal in her bridal ensemble, with Milly and Annie as bridesmaids

The groom Twister was less enthusiastic about proceedings but decided to go ahead after a biscuit.
The pair have been cohabiting for many years but decided with the help of Milly and Annie, it was time to tie the knot.
No animals were harmed in the production of this wedding.
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Choices of the Cannes Film Festival

Grace of Monaco Olivier Dahan

Goodbye to Language Jean-Luc Godard
The Captive Atom Egoyan
Clouds of Sils Maria Olivier Assayas
Foxcatcher Bennett Miller
The Homesman Tommy Lee Jones
Jimmy’s Hall Ken Loach
La Meraviglie Alice Rohrwacher
Leviathan Andrei Zvyagintsev
Maps to the Stars David Cronenberg
Mommy Xavier Dolan
Mr Turner Mike Leigh
Saint Laurent Bertrand Bonello
The Search Michel Hazanavicius
Still the Water Naomi Kawase
Timbuktu Abderrahmane Sissako
Two Days, One Night Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Wild Tales Damian Szifron
Winter Sleep Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Coming Home Zhang Yimou
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Dean DeBlois
Les Gens du Monde Yves Jeuland

Amour fou Jessica Hausner
Bird People Pascale Ferran
The Blue Room Mathieu Amalric
Charlie’s Country Rolf de Heer
Dohee-ya July Jung
Eleanor Rigby Ned Benson
Fantasia Wang Chao
Harcheck mi headro Keren Yedaya
Hermosa Juventud Jaime Rosales
Incompresa Asia Argento
Jauja Lisandro Alonso
Lost River Ryan Gosling
Party Girl Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis
Run Philippe Lacote
The Salt of the Earth Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado
Snow in Paradise Andrew Hulme
Titli Kanu Behl
Tourist Ruben Ostlund

The Rover David Michod
The Salvation Kristian Levring
The Target Yoon Hong-Seung

The Bridges of Sarajevo various directors
Eau Argentee Mohammed Ossama
Maidan Sergei Loznitsa
Red Army Polsky Gabe
Caricaturistes – Fantassins de la democratie Stephanie Valloatto

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Wealthy business man beats the villagers of Laguiole

Defiant residents of the French village of Laguiole - famous around the world for its knives - have appealed to their president to intervene on their behalf after they lost a trademark battle in court meaning they are barred from using its name on their own products.
The mayor of the tiny French town of Laguiole has sent a letter to President François Hollande asking him to step in so residents can use the famous village name to market their products.
The move came after villagers lost a court fight against a wealthy businessman who owns the trademark of the village name and who makes the famous Laguiole knives as well as other Laguiole branded products in China.    Comments to

Soiree Nina Simone

Wednesday 23rd April at the cinema Les Cordeliers in Albi there will be a "cine-concert" to mark a documentary film marking the American jazz singer's struggle against racism in her native North Carolina. Not a bio-pic the director emphasises but "an escape in time and space". The evening begins with a "verre" at 20h (8pm), a concert by Jazz 81, then a screening of the film and finally a discussion. And all for 7 euros.
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Tough measures are needed.

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday targeted the country’s generous welfare system in an aggressive drive to cut state spending by €50 billion, announcing a state pension freeze and a trimmed budget for social benefits and healthcare.

Manuel Valls was appointed to the prime minister's post on March 31, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault after the ruling Socialist Party suffered stinging reverses in municipal elections in March.  
Val says  We have many friends working hard to pay for the generous welfare system here and that builds up resentment. Many people do not want to work more than 15 hours,  as up to that limit generous amounts are paid to make up the salary. It is important for all concerned to get it right.   comments to

Folk 'n'Jazz next week

Folk'n 'Jazz is next week Thursday 24th April - how time flies and all that.
The regulars have a "follow that" issue after the jazz band last month so have been working extra hard - don't miss it.

There are just two more evenings at Verfeil Salle des Fetes,  before folk'n'jazz goes on "tour" for its al frescoe summer season ( more details of that later).

This month, as always , the evening will start at 8pm, entry is free just bring yourself a drink, some nibbles and be prepared to be entertained, unless of course you want to join in as a performer, in which case contact or tel 05 63 67 93 35
Sue Carter
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Human shapes?

Dear Val and Malc,
Twisting the night away
I was in Caussade a couple of weeks ago and noticed the contorted shapes of the Mulberry trees in the revamped village square by the tourist office.  I thought that is a photo waiting to happen but it needed to be different in some way.   I really wanted an ethereal fog but it is the wrong time of year for that and in any case probably would not happen in the town.
So after a comfortable night in we jumped in the car around 11:30pm and parked up in the square.  Under the sleepy eye of the local gendarmes we set up the tripod, camera and obligatory wide angle lens for that really distorted look.  Looking on with amusement the gendarmes shuffled off and left us to it.
It is really uncanny how you can imagine (well me anyway) the form of these trees taking on human shapes, one looks like a cricket bowler from the back, another has arms raised as if it was a runner crossing a winning line and there are a row of three stretching as if in an exercise class.  I will leave it to you to find your own interpretation.

Val says for more photos look in Wild Photos
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35 donkey dinners served at the Donkey Sanctuary

Just to let u know I have received 60 cheque from steve the carpet man for
his tag lines advert.

lunch went well today with 32 people and 3 take always. ! marvellous food
cooked by christina , paella and tapas..... jan
Liberte des Anes
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Malc and Annie at Parisot Lake

This photo has been a trial to see if I could
copy a jpg on my ipad. Our daughter thought I could and has just shown me how. Normally I zoom off  downstairs and do it on the big computer. This could revolutionise time spent on TAG.
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Meeting Milly

On Sunday I arrived at my grandma and grandad's .Staying in the gite next door was a girl called Milly. Milly who is from Ireland  said I was the first English speaking friend she had made here.
We both have ipads and like playing in the pool.
Val says Annie would like her own blog, until she has checked with her Dad about this, she has written a post for TAG. Annie is 7 years old and did write it all herself without any help, from me or the sub.

Annie and Milly feed the donkeys, watched by baby Sam

Working our socks off, no time for lunching.

Since saying I really do not like eating out in big  noisy groups, we are getting our leg pulled that sub and I, whenever we are caught eating out. Before long we will be sneaking in to restaurants wearing disguise, dirty macs and balaclavas.
 Malc says, no we do that now, or is that just us wearing our gardening doggy haired, smelling of donkey outfits. ( Amazed anyone would even want to lunch with us)

We do enjoy lunching... when we have the time but not in big groups.
As we say,  those who want to, please continue to enjoy.
It is not easy eating out in the country at this time of the year anyway.
Today we thought we would walk the dogs at Parisot lake and then stop at the small cafeteria for lunch (having heard it opened on the 12th) Just to warn you that it is only open Fri., Sat. and Sun.
So then we went to La Seye et Vous at Verfeil forgetting it was closed Wed.
So on finally to the Segalar at Milhars which was chock a block full, but we were squeezed in.
As always very good value and excellent smiley service.
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Mr RAT has got to go, even I think that.

Hi Val and Subbie
Do any readers of Tag know a good way to get rid of the Lily beetle?  My plants get them every year and I don gardening gloves and squash the little blighters when I can and remove that horrible black stuff they leave on the leaves. They have already half eaten  lots of the leaves of my lillies and I would like some of them to flower this year.

Talking of eradicating pests, does anyone have a foolproof way of getting rid of the Ragodin. As soon as one goes another appears and I want to put some aquatic plants in the small lake we have. Pointless while Monsieur and Madame Rat are making home there.

I know you are an animal lover Val, so am I, but a rat is a rat, and I am fed up of cleaning up their excrement on a daily basis!

Sarah Massey

Val says  I don't know how to get rid of the Lily Beetle, but I am sure someone will.
The Ragodin has got to go in my opinion, although the last time this came up a reader was happy with their ragodin in the pond. Trapping seems to be the best way. Have a word with a local chasse or the Mairie, to find out who can help. Anyone with more ideas let us know.
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Jobsworth or quite right?

A schoolgirl aged 11 years was refused entry to a school bus because she had forgotten her bus pass and left standing at the kerbside in Assier (Lot). The parents were obviously incensed. The girl had "changed her jacket" and left the pass behind.
The bus company has procedures to deal with this situation and should only exclude persistent offenders; here not the case apparently. The girl had no mobile phone so could not contact her parents. Happily her grandparents lived nearby so she found refuge there. The "intrangiseante conductrice" has been reprimanded and the girl and her parents reminded of the need to have the bus pass. We dont know if the driver was new or what the girl's attitude was, but it does seem a bit jobsworthy.
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Animals - feeling beings or chattels?

The Code Civil in France treats domestic animals as chattels, not feeling beings. After a petition launched by 30 million amis, the animal rights movement, an amendment to the code was proposed in the Assembly yesterday (15th April) to change this. In practice this may make it easier for the SPA and private individuals to complaints about mistreatment of pets. (any chance bullfighting will be outlawed). Polls suggest 89% of French people are in favour.
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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Book your table now for the Sautou marché aux puces

Grand Marché aux puces de Sautou
Le 10 et 11 Mai 2014
Week end convivial de 10h à 18 h
Venez tous vendre vos objets que vous ne voulez plus garder. Au profit de l'Association Via Sahel Enfants d' Afrique, vous pourrez verser totalement ou partiellement le montant de vos ventes .
Tables Espagnoles, pâtisseries et boissons sur place.
Manifestation organisée par Jane et Colin
 Au Domaine de Sautou 82160 CASTANET/CAYLUS
Contacts :  06 74 70 41 66
                  05 63 65 72 64

Double bed for a small donation to one of TAG charities

I am happy to give away this double bed, but perhaps with a small donation to a TAG charity  It is well made and sturdy but requires a base and mattress. It may be useful for a spare room or gîte. I will not be able to deliver it and will have to be collected from near St Antonin. Contact Terri Lumb:

Barclaycard closes accounts

READERS have complained that credit card company Barclaycard has told them it is closing their accounts because they do not have a UK address – and the bank has admitted that it is doing so, but only for customers who have not used the account in the past six months.

The company was replying to dozens of complaints from Connexion readers who said they had received a letter in the post telling them their Barclaycard account was being closed, with effect from June 9. 

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Suffering codfish, we are spoiling the French language.

Despite efforts to protect the French language and culture in the TV and radio industry, the language of Moliere continues to suffer at the hands of English, according to a new report by industry regulators CSA.
And French viewers themselves are not too happy about it.
CSA’s report revealed that of all the complaints the organisation receives it is the invasion of English which most grates them.
Val says  - and I really do not blame them. Malc and I  often watch everyday  French programmes where the worst slang English is used. We would probably be unhappy with it on English television.

Doreen Porter and her friend, a dog called Rupert

Hello Val
I thought you would like to know that I have started my blog again:
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Aromas in the Garden

Lovely aromas all around the garden, lilac blossom, red roses in profusion, deep purple iris, that seem to flower before the other colours. The wisteria wafting its strong scent around the courtyard. The bush peonies are nearly finished but have been superb.
Such wonderful scents of spring ... but Sam our daughter says she can only smell the donkeys!
 I was manuring everything a couple of weeks ago, and  I do like the smell of donkeys.
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Telephone and internet subscription

Can you cancel your telephone and internet subscription during the period you are not in France?

There are many rumours about this. The answer is yes and no.
No you can’t when you have a normal subscription like the Orange Zen or with SFR etc. All these subscriptions can only be cancelled when you pay a cancellation fee (€ 50) and after reinstalling you won’t get your telephone number back. You even need to send your modem back. And every time you want to reinstall the subscription, you have to go through the normal process of subscribing for a new internet connection. Usually also including the costs of a technician (€ 60) who needs to come for activating the line.

Yes you can when you have the normal landline (analogue line) for € 25 per month, with a ‘découverte’ internet subscription for € 24 per month from Orange. But you won’t have the free landline calls to 100 countries since you are using the old-fashioned analogue line and not the internet line. You must register with Orange as having a ‘maison secondaire’ and every time you have to inform them when you leave and when you come back. Unfortunately this is not a fail-safe procedure since many people have experienced that it sometimes takes weeks before the line is connected again.


Another day with wall to wall sunshine

What do you do with visitors on the third Tuesday in the month?
If you are like us you go to the Foire at Laguepie and having coffee and croissants at one of the two bars. Sit in the sun and watch the world go by, followed by spinning stones in the river, so Malc can show off his skills to Annie.
 Now that is the morning planned for us.
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Tongue orchids

These distinctive little orchids are recognised by their tongue like flower. In French they are called serapia and they generally are to found at our kestrel corner not long after the early purples start to fade.

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Children speaking English and French has benefits.

French is traditionally the preserve of secondary schools. But learning a foreign language could be the central focus of a proposed new primary school in Bristol.
Under plans for a new free school called Bristol Bilingual Primary School, pupils would speak both English and French in all lessons.
Of the benefits of learning a foreign language at primary school, the group's website said: "It has been shown that learning a modern foreign language from a young age not only has no adverse effect on progression at school but improves academic achievements in literacy and maths. Being exposed to different cultures makes children able to understand different points of view.
 Val says
Part of an article from the Bristol Post. It is reassuring for all the parents here with young children starting at French schools, learning the two languages side by side is going to improve academic achievements.

You will just have to stay at the Georges V

If you had planned a luxury weekend in Paris at the iconic Lutetia Hotel you will have to wait 3 more years. The hotel built in 1910 has a listed art nouveau facade and in its time has welcomed General de Gaulle for his wedding night, James Joyce, Picasso and notoriously the German Intelligence HQ during the war. It is to be completely refurbished.
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Monday, 14 April 2014

Daddy's taking us to the Zoo tomorrow.

THOUSANDS of visitors flocked to Paris Zoo de Vincennes, which has reopened after a €170m six-year revamp. Le Parisien reported that 25,000 people walked through the new-look venue’s gates over the opening weekend. 
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Plant swap success for Debbie at Les Jardins des Espiemonts

Deviating slightly from the 10 till 3 pm,  today it was  2pm to 4 pm and it worked perfectly,  a move perhaps to be repeated Debbie.

Betty tells Lorna all about Tansy
The sun shone as people started to arrive with their boxes of plants. Betty Nuttall as promised arrived with all her plants potted up; a very knowledgeable gardener is Betty.
I took some of the "tomatoes anciens" which could have been cannabis... but weren't.
I picked up some more strawberry plants, more rockery plants and all sorts of odds and ends.
Debbie had gone to lots of trouble, but all worth it, making delicious cakes and offering drinks. All way beyond the call of duty, but John and Debbie,  we appreciated it. Many thanks both for all your work and Malc and I look forward to the next one.

Plants of all types enthusiastically swapped

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Draw International at Caylus invites us to the vernissage

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Whisky Tarnais

All happening at the Chateau de Penne


Nous vous prions de bien vouloir trouver ci-joint le programme du week-end de Pâques au Château de Penne.

Une très belle idée de sortie week-end…

Bien cordialement,

L’équipe du Château de Penne

Le Colombier at Les Cabannes

The first show is on 10th May in the theatre Le Colombier at Les Cabannes.
It will be a two-hour show by Chris Harris entitled Kemp's Jig, all about a jester/troubadour in the time of Shakespeare. 
Doors will open at 6.30pm to enable you to have a pre-show drink.
Tickets are on sale at €15 for members and €20 for non-members.
If you would like tickets, please send a cheque to me ASAP to avoid disappointment.
They can either be collected on the night or I will send them to you in the post.
We anticipate a heavy demand for these tickets, so do book early.
If you aren't yet a member, then we'd love you join us.
You can send a cheque to me, or join on a theatre night.
Individual membership is €20
Couples €30
Individual benefactor €50
Individual Patron €100
Nigel Baillie
Friends of English Theatre at Le Colombier
Le Chevalier Noir

Maeva has more dogs needing homes.

Maeva Vayron who works for the Mairie at St. Antonin rehoming lost dogs has sent pictures and information of three more dogs that desperately need homes. I have put pictures and their history in "Pets to Go"
This is Fidjie, a 4 year old border collie. likes children and dogs, but is wary of cats. Could be happily mated with a "copine". See pets to go for more.
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An interesting article but still hard to comprehend why a half Jewish man would be with the FN Party

Fréjus is a quiet Riviera town with Roman ruins in its centre, a port full of yachts, and a tourist-friendly sea front with restaurants and ice cream shops. With low crime and immigration rates, and joblessness only slightly higher than the national average, there seems little obvious need for radical change.
Yet in his office former papal palace, David Rachline, the smooth-talking 26-year old new mayor, is promising just that under the banner of Marine Le Pen's "detoxified" and "non-racist" far-Right Front National.
Two weeks ago, Fréjus, population 54,000, voted massively in favour of Mr Rachline, handing him 46 per cent of the vote in a three-way run-off with two rival Right-wingers.
Val says
A very interesting article by Henry Samuel in the Telegraph. 
 A spiritual son of Jean-Marie Le Pen, David Rachline joined the party at 15 years old, going on to become national head of the FN youth movement. Arguably the most odd aspect of his political CV, though, is that he himself is half-Jewish.
Given that Jean-Marie Le Pen famously dismissed the Nazi gas chambers as a "detail" of history, was it not an unusual choice of party?
    Comments to

Technology is here to stay

Sitting next to me is little 7 year old Annie with her pink ipad. Sorry I am corrected, the case is pink, the ipad is white. She is busy searching stories about her published in TAG and checking how many enjoyed she has received. She knows how to use the search facility and can work her way around the site quicker than I can.
What a different time we live in. Years ago I would have been sitting  next to my Granny reading a book whilst she knitted socks on lots of needles.
Annie's bedtime story  last night after reading her book was " the happy end for Fanfaron" tale.
This morning we have fed the donkeys, who after eating were more interested in sexual pursuits, so a discussion there on Rosie and Filou being married got short shrift... donkeys don't get married Grandma!
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La chapelle des Pénitents opens its doors Tuesday 15 th at Espalion.

La chapelle des Pénitents ouvrira ses portes à partir de ce mardi 15 avril. Les quatorze bénévoles de l'équipe présidée par Agnès Lombard assureront les permanences du mardi au samedi inclus. Ils se feront un plaisir de commenter les visites pour les personnes qui le désireront. Horaires d'ouverture: avril, mai: de 15 heures à 18 heures ; de juin aux journées du Patrimoine en septembre: de 15 heures à 19 heures ; fin septembre et octobre: de 15 heures à 17 heures. Ouvertures supplémentaires en juillet et août: le lundi, de 15 heures à 18 heures, et le vendredi, de 10 heures à 12 heures.
Val says the picture in the Depeche shows a most beautiful interior, got to be worth a visit.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hollande's popularity down whilst Valls is on the up.

Popular approval for French President Francois Hollande has hit a new low of 18 percent, far below the 58 percent for his new Prime Minister Manuel Valls, an opinion poll showed Sunday.
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Do not forget the plant swap everyone, tomorrow afternoon

14 April
Gardening: Plant Swap
Le Jardin des Espiemonts, Metse, Les Espiemonts, 82160, Caylus

An english speaking electrician

Hi Val
Re: electrician

Patrick Dubosc is an english speaking, french electrician. 
Telephone 06 72 10 57 72


DO not do this at home, unless you have practical skills!

Hi Val
We couldn't find one, an electrician.  But when we got a French guy in to plaster some ceilings, it turned out he was studying to do electrics, and he brought with him his textbook.  We noted the publishers, ordered a copy, read it through, and I've been doing our electrics myself, fully to French standards, ever since!
x C   
Val says   My sub, well the TAG sub, is a great guy but the thought of him redoing the electrics round the house makes me shiver. Malc can speak French like a native, fill in his tax returns and understand them, sell an antiquarian book for  60,000  pounds but surely plumbing and electricity demand certain skills which I am happy to pay for ( peace of mind )
C is  obviously very practical so good luck to him, but just in case emergency number is 18 for accidents
To be fair to Malc he can read, understand an assemble IKEA furniture, which demands a degree!

English speaking electrician needed

Good Morning Val
As a daily reader of Taglines, I am wondering if you could try and find me an electrician ( one who speaks English, I,m afraid ). We have had a house in Laguepie for over 10 years and will be coming down mid May for a month or so and need some work doing whilst we are there. Do you think you could put out a request or even know of one you could recommend ?

Val says we do have a French speaking electrician but I am sure there must be English speaking ones people know in the area. Please let Robin  know
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Giving stuff away at Parisot

Hi Val, hope you've had a good weekend so far. Some people may be heading to Parisot today for the Marche de Créateurs, and there is also another reason to come down. People will be bringing out their unwanted items to give away for free! I've attached the flyer for details and people have been encouraged to bring instruments so it may all turn into another jam session!

Hope to see you here!
Becky x

Part of the family arrive today

Daughter and youngest will arrive today at Toulouse. At 13 years old the eldest granddaughter chose the option of going to play tennis at La Manga in Spain. I suppose we cannot compete with that option for a sports fan.
Little 7 year old Annie coming here  will be wanting to check out her chicken choice from last holiday, Black Peck is now patrolling the grounds with chum Penny and has settled in well. Chosen for her beauty, Black Peck is not a prolific egg layer, but all the renters still say  "can we take that hen home in our suitcase"
Malc' s answer is always " please do" and he would probably provide a hen carrier  (which is a box from Unicor)
This post is really to warn of  "standards decline" in the posts as I chat to family and post at the same time ... "bear with"

What do you say to a " bear with  - ear muffs?"     Anything you like as he cannot hear you!
Just getting in the swing of things for the week.
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Need a cot, high chair or pushchair?

Family coming for Easter, do not forget that it is very cheap to hire from Mini Monde at Parisot, all those childrens items you really do not want to buy. Mini Monde not only has the equipment, but will deliver it to you. What a great service.  See the advert in the side bar and click on it to look at the website.
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TAG - It just needs you

The first posts of the day are happy readers who have sent messages to TAG. If enough people know about TAG it WORKS.
 Keep passing on the Tag online blogspot information to all your friends, you never know when you may need to sell a house, find a teacher for children or need a lift from Rodez.
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Chris and partner needed a lift from Rodez,

Darling you are amazing ! Got an offer already!
Thank you a million times just need a car to drive when we get home....mine being fixed for ' The Test'.
Love to you ! xx
Val says Chris lives at Verfeil sur Seye, can anyone loan a car for a few days?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

TAG gets people looking, good if you got a sale.

Thanks for adding the 'houseblog' sale details to your newsletter - I've just had a look at the stats for the blog and there were 766 views of the blog yesterday - amazing! Be great if some of those turned into some real interest, anyway we'll wait and see.
Thanks again and speak soon
Love Kay
Val says a lovely house, bargains like that will soon sell

Car batteries

Hi Val.  Evening Sub.

In case any TAG readers are interested, here is a useful source of inexpensive replacement car batteries with a 4 year guarantee.  Delivered to your door free.   The same firm can be reached via

Replacing a car battery is quite simple, and the savings are big. The garage quote for our Peugeot was €116, but I bought a much higher spec. battery from the above for €65, and fitted it in 10 minutes.  Also, for our horsebox, which has 2 lorry batteries, I recently replaced both for €239 instead of nearly €400 if bought locally. 

For those who can no longer find their adjustable spanner, James Sweeting ( tells me he can help change batteries at a reasonable price.  

x Chris   

Jacqueline Yallop gives author reading on the 7th of June

Hi Val,
I included you in an email I just sent out to let people know about Jacqueline Yallop’s forthcoming author reading in the Parisot library on 7th June.    I would be most grateful if you could post a notice on your website.   I am not sure how far in advance you put up such notices and I will leave this to you to decide.    I will of course, as I said in the email, send out a reminder nearer the time.

Very many thanks as always for help in publicising our events.    You might be pleased to know that I have already received interest about the teaching remplacement from the notice you kindly put up for me just a couple of days ago.
With kind regards.
Val says I will post the notice nearer the time.

Anyone at Rodez on the 14th?

Hi Val...
Could you ask if anyone is picking up from Rodez airport on Monday 14th and could give Bob and I a lift please....just a faint hope!
We need to be in Verfeil sur Seye
Thanks Val.
Chris Gee
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Number ten, cache - cache was the judges favourite

The opening and vernissage of Les Livres D' artistes was today. The judges votes were in and the winner was no. 10 called  "cache- cache" It was not the one Malc and I chose, it was though second on our list.
The exhibition which is on all week in the Salle des  Thermes at St. Antonin is worth a visit, if you love books and art.
I had not anticipated spending any money but I had little change out of 50 euros after buying some beautiful note pads with matching pencils from a lady bookbinder who has an atelier at Bor et Bar. Just the thing I thought for little gifts... if I can bear to give them away.
Béatrice Pagès the bookbinder has a workshop at Bor et Bar 12270 tel 0565656897
The books she had on display were well and beautifully bound, we shall be going to see her.

The Livres D'Artistes continues with workshops over the next two weeks.
Comments to

Donkey lunches all in aid of the donkey sanctuary

We still only have 24 for lunch, everyone seems to be busy !
The menu is superb.  Christina is cooking tapas with paella, please try to come to support us, we need to know our final numbers by Monday morning. The day is Wednesday 16th of April.
Hope to see you to help us continue our work here.
jan lemmy

Val says  The donkey sanctuary is at Lavolvene, Belveze, Tarn and Garonne. You get to stroke and be introduced to the donkeys as well as having a superb lunch.


Tarn, Aveyron,Tarn and Garonne, that is TAGland

For new readers that I met at the theatre, welcome, hope you enjoy TAG and contribute. It is your contributions that make TAG what it is.
If you want to advertise and sell items it is free but I ask a donation to one of our charities when that happens. The charities are
Via Sahel Enfants d' Afrique
Liberte des Anes
Alzheimer's 82
Cancer Support82
All are local based French registered charities.
If you know of events happening or anything of interest to readers please let other readers in the area know. TAG is here for you.
A story I enjoyed from last night, that you might like. I introduced myself to a man who knew who I was. We had bought, advertised on TAG his late father's home cinema.
 His father bought all the equipment 3 years before he died and said it was his  "last big folly" The family are delighted we are now using all that equipment which we bought to give Opera evenings through the winter. Everyone pays 10 euros for an apero dinatoire and the chosen Opera and the money goes to street children of Africa. The family are so pleased as their Dad had spent and worked 20 years of his life in Africa and had a great affection for  the continent, and they know he would have been really happy that " his folly" was helping children in Africa.
  I think it is a lovely story.
Comments to

All about Le Colombier at Les Cabannes, near Cordes sur Ciel

Le Colombier theatre in Les Cabannes is now owned by the Communauté de Communes of Cordes-Vaour, overseen by a committee of elected members of local Mairies in the Communaute, under the Presidency of Paul Quiles, Maire of Cordes.

An association based in Cordes, Gestion du Colombier, manages the theatre on a day-to-day basis, under the Presidency of Jacques Roquefere. It put together an initial programme for 2013-14, which was tentative and left much room for growth. This year, 2014-15 the Gestion is keen to involve the English-speaking communitymore, and has approached Donald Douglas, via Lucie Macguire, to do something to helpOur association was formed as a direct result of the request from Jacques Roquefere

The Theatre
Le Colombier is a technically well-appointed theatre, converted from a tannery by Pierre Nicole, a Swiss former resident of Cordes. The theatre has a raked auditorium seating 126, a bar and café, a terraced garden and living accommodation for performers, as well as a large car park. We are fortunate to have such an amenity here in the Tarn, and English-speaking residents will no doubt find this venue attractive as a centre for cultural events, plays or recitals.

The Association
Friends of English Theatre at Le Colombier
Les Amis du theatre Anglais au Colombier

Our aim is to produce 3-4 high quality shows each year, in the English language, from May to around the end of November, acknowledging that our primary membership and audience will come from the English ex-pat community living in this region, together with those living here on a part-time basis each year. We are, however, very keen to encourage participation by anyone who has an interest in hearing some great theatre shows in the English language, be they English, French or any other nationality. Indeed, for example, talks are already at an advanced stage with local teachers about producing some matinee performances for their students of English this autumn, allowing them the opportunity to study the work in the weeks prior to the show being staged.

It must be reiterated that we are keen for anyone to become a member of the association, not just to come along to the shows, important though that is. It is the commitment and enthusiasm of our members who give the committee the mandate to invite world-class performers to the stage at Le Colombier.

Due to the high cost of staging these quality shows, we will be limited in the number of performers we could pay to be here for any given show. At the moment, we are concentrating on producing one-man shows by world-renowned actors. This is in contrast to other shows put on at the theatre by other groups, who generally promote lesser known or local actors or artists at a much reduced cost, but with a much more limited appeal, and in consequence, it has to be said, with much less financial or numerical success to date.

We are hoping for high demand for tickets for our shows. Where demand exceeds the number of seats for one show (126) we will look into the possibility of running the show for a second consecutive night, or more. Matinees are also a possibility.

Suggestions have been made to the committee to hold other social events at the theatre but our initial focus will be on producing theatre shows in English. Other entertainments will remain the provenance of the Gestion du Colombier.

This Association has been set up at the invitation of the theatre management committee to provide some shows in the English language.

This will
Lead to more shows being performed at the theatre each year, thereby increasing its usage
Lead to a wider audience base, both English and French
Lead to greater awareness of, and participation in, the theatre
Lead to a greater appreciation of English theatre
Increase the funds coming into the theatre each year
Enhance the sense of community spirit and goodwill between French and English

Friday, 11 April 2014

They certainly pulled in a good crowd tonight

FET, Friends of the English Theatre, and that now includes Malc and myself, were pulled in tonight to show support for English Theatre at Le Colombier at les Cabannes.
 It is not easy getting support for any new venture but the team who worked together to pull this off deserve some credit.
We were impressed from the start, entering and paying our membership fee in an orderly line and getting our plastified membership cards, straight away.
The new President Donald Douglas was sadly away on tour but had a wonderful stand in, The actress Ursula Jones who went to RADA at the same time as Douglas, had marvellous  delivery in her welcome which she kept light hearted and amusing,
Lovely nibbles, with lots of them, and many friends to meet and greet and many new ones for me to introduce to TAG.
Not sure just how many friends were there to sign up  but it was a goodly number and the anticipation amongst us all was high. The first evening in the calendar  will be "Chris Harris' Kemp's Jig" which will be on Sat. 10th of  May at 7.30pm. It is described as an Elizabethan Roadshow,  the hilarious account of how a musical clown in Shakespeare's company turned his back on the bard. I look forward to seeing that.
Only one small niggle on the horizon when a group of retired, single, lady friends, asked me to mention that they felt discriminated against being asked as a single to pay more than partners who got membership a bit cheaper by being a couple. I was informed  by Nigel Baillie, the Secretary that this would be discussed at the next committee meeting.
Finally the theatre itself is a delight, holds 120 people with a good stage and decent sized reception areas.
Good Luck to this interesting project, I am sure it is going to give lots of pleasure, I do miss the theatre.
Comments to

Jean's quail egg and walnut canapes

Hi Val

We tasted Jean's cheesy/egg and walnut nibbles  - and they are really delicious with a glass of red wine, highly recommend!
Val says Jean will be delighted, see the recipe now in Cooks

A block of flats, cheep housing at Mas del Sol

In our back garden as well as not paying a penny, we have dozens of squatters, the noise is unbelievable.
The redeeming factor is these delightful little colourful scrapping goldfinches who take up residence in our "sapin" in the back garden, eat any aphids, give us hours of pleasure watching them. Perhaps living in close proximity they are giving us a lesson in living with " etrangers"
The nests are built just like a block of flats, all the way up to the top, cheep, cheep,cheep.
The spring / summer residence of  a charm of goldfinches.
Comments to

A Calligraphy workshop, with English spoken

Ce samedi 12 , encore une possibilité de s'inscrire à l'atelier de calligraphie contemporaine de Patrick CUTTE, salle des thermes de Saint Antonin à 14h15. limité à 10 personnes, à partir de 10 ans; 5 euros. s'inscrire au : 
N.B English spoken

The young, old, children, and dogs everybody there at Verfeil at le bal last week.

If you enlarge the picture you can see Trevor and Sue Carter from the Folk Club strutting his stuff, near the band.
Sent to me by Stuart Cryer, our Canadian renter. He and wife Mercedes left  here for their home in Canada today. Stuart has taken hundreds of photos and will be mounting an exhibition before too long... but in Ottawa or Toronto... or even both. We have enjoyed having you  staying here and two months just flashed past. I am glad we have lots of photos for those memories.
Comments to

Available for grazing

Dear Val& Malcolm,

Please put the following notice on TAGLINES for me.
AVAILABLE FOR GRAZING- free of charge but quite urgent.
One acre of securely fenced pasture with easy access to road and water,
situated just outside the village of MILHARS.
This field is ideal for a pair, or more, of hungry herbivores -preferabl
sheep, horses or donkeys. This would be a short term arrangement -
dependant on the rate of grazing-but could be the answer for someone who
needs to rest or treat his own land.
I live adjacent and can ensure that the animals are watched over and
provided with water. There is plenty of shade and lots of delicious weeds
and grass.
Sally Ann CLEGG tel:

A romantic balloon flight above Cordes

A balloon flight above Cordes sur Ciel is being promoted as being the ideal romantic adventure for couples. Cordes is a lovely place for a break and adding a "montgolfier" flight would make it really memorable.
After a short training session the couple will ascend to 2000 metres for an hour's view of the village.
The cost is 390 euros.
Lukkas Mongolfière - 06 78 26 82 43 -

Jardin Noble Val

L’année de la gourmandise au jardin….

Easter Sunday 20 April 2014, 9 – 18 hrs, we have again the Spring edition of the well-known “Jardin Noble Val”, Place du Pradel, Saint Antonin Noble Val. About 40 exhibitors will participate.