Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Grandfather clock for sale

Could you advertise using Tag -on-line to sell an inherited William
Wright grandfather clock. It has been valued to bring at auction
(Howard Walwyn , Kensington London ) between £600 to £800. It does
need some service as it has been overwound. But we are open to any
offer, €250? And we would be most happy to make a generous
contribution to 'Mains Tenues'. I shall send some photos. It is quite a handsome piece and as you can see does suit a rustic setting.

Anne Peterson
St Andre de Najac

Truffles at Lalbenque

Lalbenque: the truffle is tasted and unearthed this weekend
Saturday and Sunday, the truffle festival in Lalbenque. A national truffle dog competition is organized in addition to tasting workshops and conferences. Retail and wholesale markets will be maintained.

French worries about "no deal"

The French government has also been making plans for the possibility of a "no deal" Brexit. As with the UK the prospect of long delays at ports of exit (notably Calais) have led to investing 50 million euros to build extra lorry parks and recruiting 600 more staff, customs officers, veterinary professionals and other civil servants needed to process the export and import documents.
A WTO exit could impose import duties of up to 40% on dairy products, lower tariffs on other goods.
It is estimated that France could lose 3 billion euros of exports in 2019, with cars, machinery, aeronautics, electronics and wine being particularly affected. Many items may require new recognition of standards (such as the British standard instead of the French or EU standard).
There are 300000 French people resident in the UK, 62% of whom reckon they will stay after Brexit. They will be illegal after 29th March unless they have applied for "settled status" particularly using the "mobile phone" system, provided they have an Android phone (so no iPhones). It is noted that UK expats in France will be in a similar position and will have one year to regularise their situation.
The problems of travel by air and Eurostar have been subject of debate as operators will not have the necessary permits to operate in France, nor will Air France be able to land in the UK; the EU has agreed to allow a one year extension to enable these companies to negotiate new licences, but there could still be some problems. Tourists may see higher charges for currency and telephone bills.
The Withdrawal Act covers many of these problems and the French government, as with the 26 other EU countries, prefers that deal to a "no deal".

Ricochets AGM today

The Assemblee Generale of the association Ricochets set up to provide support to the families and refugees at the Parisot centre will be held this afternoon at 18h in the main room at the centre.

Snow horses

Woke again with a horse missing. Just what we wanted to avoid when the donkeys left, as they were adept at escaping when there was little food left in the field. Fortunately when it was light old Mario was spotted in a neighbouring field and led back to the enclosure.
Happily it was not snowing this morning (though the rain was cold), whereas yesterday afternoon we had a decent shower of snow, forcing Mario to hide in the cabin, leaving poor Margaux to brave the elements.
Pic Malcolm Johnstone
No snow is forecast for this area for the next seven days.

Irish concert in Laguepie

Concert - Spectacle

du duo irlandesque

Dimanche 10 février à 17h

Salle des fêtes de

Le concert sera suivi à 18h30 d'un repas partagé avec ce que
chacun aura apporté.
Avec le concert-spectacle d'OXALIS, venez partager un voyage musical, au cœur des contées de brumes, de roc et de mer…

Conseillé à partir de 8 ans
Participation au chapeau
Contribution suggérée entre 6 et 12 euros

Plus d'infos : 06 98 01 07 81

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Associations came from Montauban to meet us in Varen at Mains Tendues 82

How lovely to meet two Presidents from two associations from Montauban, caring people who selflessly help others.
Sylvie Pralong from “Education sans frontières “ and Jean Cousty from “ Pas sans Toit”
We hope to join with them this coming year to have the odd joint event to raise money and awareness.

A thief around Varen

Attention en Varen et environs, il y a un voleur/ cambrioleur

Be careful around the area, lock up well.
Friday morning it was discovered that the Moulin de Varen had been broken into. All the wine and spirits were stolen. Then today a French neighbour from down the road told me to lock up well including gardening equipment as the gendarmes had warned that someone is about breaking in.
Two lonely country  farm houses had been targeted, one having their volets forced open.
So just take extra precautions with locking up.
There was also a theft at Milhars two weeks ago.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Albi palace gates cause a storm

The Palais de la Berbie, which houses the Musee Toulouse Lautrec in Albi has had some new gates fitted to the ancient red brick wall, but as they are made of steel an outcry has been raised on various internet sites.
The history of the opening has been chequered throughout its 800 year existence. Originally a solid wall, it was reduced in height and a balcony added in the 16th century, then in 18th century an opening was made, and a stone gate ordered. But it was not finished. In 1920 the historic monument commission ordered the gates to be demolished and replaced with traditional red bricks.
recent refurbishments of the gallery meant the opening was re-established to allow materials and vehicles to enter. It was decided to keep the opening and commission a new gate. The council and Unesco (Albi is a world heritage site) agreed a design by the Toulouse architect Michel Peron.
The architect is well versed in heritage work and produced a design in steel, which he says will look like brick once it has rusted and fit in perfectly with the rest of the wall. As it is not solid, but a lattice of brick sized steel blocks one can see through it into the palace grounds.
The entrance will be used to bring exhibits in and out and provide emergency access for pompiers.
Naturally the scheme does not please everyone, especially at a cost of 200000 euros. However, supporters claim that the new gate is a modern solution to an historic building which will enhance it without simply apeing  the past.
palais de la Berbie: photo DDM

Red moon for blue Monday

Apparently today is called "blue Monday" when we all feel miserable as the holiday feel good wears off, the weather is cold, we've already broken our resolutions and a whole year of work stretches ahead. Actually it is rather a sunny morning here at Mas del Sol, the horses are still behind the fences, the new dog greeted us full of beans and health worries are for last year.
Having woken at just before 8am we saw the last of the "super wolf moon", just setting in the west with a distinct tinge of red about it (though that is likely to have been just the normal redness we see every time the sun sets in the west - the earth's atmosphere distorts the light).
EU citizens can today apply for settled status in the UK for £65, though nothing has been reported about how complicated it may be. UK residents here in France have been applying for cartes de sejour (free) and citizenship to allow them to remain here legally in the event of Brexit.
Even on a lovely morning the prospect of months of Brexit wrangling is enough to make it a blue Monday.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Signature trees under threat

Palm trees at Meze, January 2019. Picture:C Alazet.
The palm trees that grow along the Mediterranean coasts of France are the emblem of that area, but are under threat from a red weevil which destroys them from inside Originally from Asia the pest was first noticed in France in 2006 and there is no known treatment.
Having previously been attacked by a moth, which was treatable now they are under threat from the red weevil, which particularly attacks the Phoenix palms, the Washingtonia variety being less susceptible and may be treated by using nematode worms.
Some resorts have replaced their palms with olive and lime trees, preserving as far as possible the sound varieties. Cutting down and replanting is an expensive operation for many coastal authorites with mature Washingtonia palms costing up to 1000 euros per metre.
As one local maire says "Without palms trees it would not be the South of France".

Wine is not really alcohol?

A minister of agriculture defended the wine industry by suggesting that it is not like other alcoholic drinks, saying that he had never seen a young person leaving a night club who was drunk from having consumed a glass (a bottle?) of Cotes du Rhone. The problem with alcoholism with young people was that they drank strong spirits or beer. The Minister of Health suggested that it is the amounts consumed that is the problem, though President Macron had previously said that young people should be educated about wine (though that was at the Salon de l'Agriculture).
Some health professionals have pointed out that alcohol causes up to 50000 deaths each year and that many motoring accidents are caused by drunken drivers. Getting young people to switch from vodka to Burgundy may not be the solution to the problem.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The great debate starts today

 "Grand débat national", proposed by the government partly as an answer to the gilets jaunes' demands for the voice of the people to be heard is launched today.
Partly because Macron, Hamon and Melenchon all proposed the system in their manifestoes for the presidential elections. The debate being launched today (Tuesday 15th January) with over 1200 "kits" sent out to suggest how it is to be organised at the local level (community of communes at the lowest level).
The government has provided details in the kit of population, employment, housing and information on the main areas of debate. The government has asked for debates on taxation and public expenditure, organisation of the state and public service, ecology and finally democracy. It is likely that the participants will be drawn by lot from all on the electoral roll and not on a proportional basis.
Many "gilet jaune" Facebook pages have already dismissed the idea as being government controlled and  widespread "cahiers de doléances"(lists of grievances) have been organised by various organisations. The main points inscribed in these books have been for the reintroduction of the wealth tax, more justice for protesters, abolition of "mariage pout tous" and other social changes for the less well off.
And the UK parliament will apparently discuss a deal which almost everyone is opposed to.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Au revoir Roger Bowen

Some sad news this morning.
We were called around 10 am by  the gendarmes to go down to the village where a friend and fellow “Britannique” Roger Bowen had been found dead. In his eighties and in poor health, he was  found by the visiting nurse. The Doctor puts it down to a “a malaise “ overnight.
He was out and about yesterday.
He had an estranged wife in the UK, who we have contacted.
Roger will be remembered for loving cricket, playing boules, being involved with his old Lancia cars and enjoying dining out with his lady friends
You will be missed by many Roger.
He wants his body to be taken back to the UK, but we are already taking about a memorial service here.

On his 80th birthday celebrating with friends at the Hirondelle at St. Cirq

More a pussy cat than a tiger

Tiger is in desperate need of a home.
He is 8 years old, walks on the lead, is good with other dogs, cats and children, does not run away.
Infact a perfect dog.
Had we not just taken on Chanel we would have had him.
He is in a cold kennel outside which he is not used to and sadly if not adopted in 2 weeks will have to go into the SPA at Montauban where he will get lost amongst the younger more adoptable dogs.
Have you a place in your heart and home for him?
Contact me or Maeva  Vayron from des Truffes et des Moustaches for more details.
I can tell you adopting an older dog is really satisfyingly good for the soul... and their souls too.

AGM of Ricochets at Parisot

The association was founded to help the asylum seekers and refugees housed at the CAO in Parisot. The government provides the housing and food during the time the asylum seekers must remain at the centre, but funding for other necessities is largely via voluntary donations, including from Mains Tendues 82 and includes help after the refugee status has been granted and the centre will no longer provide shelter.
The AGM will be at the CAO in Parisot (82) on Wednesday 23rd January at 18h.

Is this the end of a golden era?

Yesterday we had a phone call from  Charles Smallwood at Agence L’Union to say he was handing our house sale over to Ruud at Disc in St. Antonin.
He would stay as an advisor to Disc, they would work together rather than as competitors.
Is this an end of a golden era ?
It must be pretty tough for immobiliers whose market has been traditionally in the UK.

Join or renew theatre subs for this year's shows.

Dear FET Friends,

Thank you for your patronage in the past and we hope that you would like to show your continued support by becoming a member of FET for our 2019 season.

This year's fees are due from 01/01/2019.

Membership costs 20€ per person.

We are busy preparing this year's programme and due to popular request FET has secured some shows with a company of actors.  As we are sure you appreciate the tickets for these shows will be more expensive but as a member you still get a 5€ discount on show tickets.

As a general rule, tickets for shows with one actor will cost 15€ for members, 20€ for non-members, whilst tickets for shows with a company of actors will cost 25€ for members, 30€ for non-members.

As a reminder of other benefits, members get priority booking ahead of the general public, can stand for the committee, and attend the AGM.

Membership cheques must be made payable to 'FET' and mailed to:



2355 Route de La Belautie