Saturday, 23 March 2019

Big April book sale

Dear Book Sale Supporter,

I have been receiving emails asking, and now I am happy to tell you that, yes,  it's that time again, our Spring Book Sale will be on Saturday 13th April at the Salle de Fetes, St. Pantaleon, (Lot) from 10am to 3pm. As usual we will have thousands of books and dvds at one euro each, cds at 50 cents and the very best of best home made cakes for your delectation !  There will also be soup and savouries to keep your strength up at lunchtime before you delve back in to the books.  I know I always say so, but I really mean it, we have a great selection of books not just the usual same 'ol, same 'ol.  Profits will be split between Poorpaws Dog Rescue, La Mere aux Betes and Cancer Support France.

If you have books to donate, please bring them with you to kick start our Autumn sale.
Look forward to seeing you there !

Sue Glibbery.   Queries to 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Topsoil and turf?

A new family who have bought a holiday home in our village, near Caylus, (82160) asked me if I know of anyone who sells and delivers topsoil and rolls of lawn turf.  We don't but I thought of you and your contacts via your site.  If so, I can be contacted on tel: 0563240181, in French or English.  Thank you.

Gite cleaner needed in Ginals

Would it be possible for us to advertise for a Cleaner for our holiday rental property in the magazine? 
Our house in Ginals is managed by Le Cloup Assistance but the Cleaner they employed last year has just said that she is moving back to the UK and what with the house booked for the summer season, we are now in a bit of a panic!

 Caralyn Nicholson


King Tut in Paris

What is being billed at the last tour of objects found in the tomb of Tutankhamun opens in Paris tomorrow. 150 items of what Howard Carter described as "wonderful things" when he opened the tomb will be on show until 15th September. The exhibition includes 60 items which have not been seen before outside Egypt.
Over 150000 tickets have already been sold (the first tour here in 1967 attracted 1.2 million visitors).
The exhibition, in the Grande Halle de la Villette, includes films and displays about the king and the discovery.
Link here to the official web site (in English). King Tut expo

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Sign please, our last chance perhaps

Click this link to sign the petition "Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU."

Buy your train ticket first, or pay more

Many regions have strengthened their anti-fraud mesures on TER trains, such as those on the Toulouse- Figeac or Caussade-Montauban lines. Apparently conductors  checking tickets on the train will no longer accept an excuse for not having a ticket and will charge a higher fare than the standard.
As many stations do not have a ticket office nor a machine from which a ticket can be purchased the only means open is to pay on-line and either print a ticket off or download it to a smart phone.
An example is given of a 13.20 euro ticket bought beforehand being 25 euros if bought from the conductor.
SNCF estimate that ticket fraud costs millions of euros per annum, but says a "genuine" reason should give recourse to a reimbursement.**
The new regime apparently came into force on 20th March. Have any readers experienced this yet?

The recent meeting of rural mayors deplored the increasing withdrawal of personal services in favour of internet use. They consider that this penalises elderly people who may not be computer literate, despite their holding courses over the last 25 years to increase awareness.
We at Taglines are used to buying air and train tickets on-line, but still prefer paper to using our smart phones - to the despair of our younger family members. One imagines that many of our generation are the same.
** SNCF have said if you board at a station where there is no guichet nor machine the conductor should charge the correct fare. A suivre.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Lovely first day of spring

This morning has a beautiful blue sky, a nip in the air but prospects for a spring equinox under the sunshine. Meteo France recognises tomorrow, 21st March, as the start of spring, whereas the UK Met Office says today. Let's mark both with a walk in the country, an hour in the garden (or, as in our case) a trip to the dechetterie.

Jobs under threat in Aveyron

The Bosch factory at Onet-le-Chateau, Rodez, has been under threat for some time and a meeting with the group management in Stuttgart brought no good news. The factory make diesel injectors and the downturn in diesel engine demand has brought about a threat to the 1500 jobs in the area. It is certain that 300 jobs will be lost and the longer term future of the plant is uncertain.
Workers at the plant are currently on short-time hours, with five days per month lost.

Counting sheep

Chasseurs in the area around St-Enimie (Lozere) have begun an annual census of wild sheep - known as "mouflons" - in the Tarn valley. There are reckoned to be around 300 beasts, a fairly stable population. Chasseurs have a permit to cull 140 annually so this time of year when lambs are being born is a good time to make the count. The area available to the sheep is some 20000 hectares, but it is thought that they are sticking to the valley as there may be a new natural predator, wolves.
Because wolves dont much distinguish between wild and domestic sheep, shepherds and chasseurs want more freedom to hunt the predators. If presumably the wolves are controlled there will be more wild sheep to be hunted. A "win/win" for the hunters. Not so good for the wild life.
Perhaps the chasseurs will fall asleep counting all those sheep.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Civil war in the Bearn?

Béarnais amateur fishermen in the Pyrenees accuse the professional Basque fishermen off the coast of plundering the stocks of returning salmon to the detriment of their right to catch up to three fish per year on their fly fishing lines. Naturally the professionals refute this and claim they are being pilloried for following their right to make a living by netting the fish at the river mouth at Bayonne.
It is reckoned some 20000 salmon will return to the Gave de Pau and the Gave d'Oleron and attempt to return to their spawning grounds in the mountains.
The methods used by the professionals are claimed to be illegal: use of nets at unauthorised depths, preventing the fish from passing. They claim, however, that the tides will raise the depth and allow many fish to pass unhindered.
The amateur fishermen up stream reckon that if more specimens were in the rivers they could lead to an increase in tourism, with salmon stalkers no longer needing to go to Scotland or Norway for their sport.
Stocks are carefully monitored by government environment officers, but the dispute has apparently gone to court for clarification. Both sides agree that cleaning up the water is necessary to keep the fish coming.

Caroline Maslin helps you spring clean

Hi All,

Spring has sprung and thankfully my health is back on track and I am feeling well.

I have decided that I need to get moving again, even with my walking and yoga, I want to start getting more active, so I am offering my services once again for cleaning this year.
I have already signed up for a bit of gite work this summer, but I thought I would offer my services for general spring cleaning, windows, deep cleans etc etc for those who want to dust the cobwebs off their homes after the winter. 

Also, have you heard of the Konmari method of decluttering and cleaning? You may have been on Mars if you haven't! This is a way to sort out clutter and unwanted items in your home, or just generally organising your home in a more efficient way. It's pretty impressive and really can help in other areas of your life; tidy house, tidy mind!
There is also this craze of Swedish death cleaning,  which sounds grim, but actually is a very positive thing and along the same lines as Konmarie.  We all have too much stuff and it's about letting go of items that do not serve you. I have just done a major clean out, using these methods and I have bagged about 10 large sacks of clothes, 4 large boxes of books and much more, which are thankfully going to be sold or donated to charity next month. With Cancer Support France, I am organising a 'Vide Armoire' on the 13th of April, at yoga Jo's studio in Les Cabannes. More info to follow or contact me if you'd like to know more.

Here are some articles about those methods:

Sometimes it's easier to do these things with someone else helping you and spurring you on!  So, I am also offering my services to help with de cluttering and organisation for those who would like some help to feel lighter and brighter in their homes and lives!

My fees are 24€ an hour and I am a registered auto entrepreneur, so I can accept cheques.
I look forward to hearing from you, and please feel free to pass on my info to your friends in the area. My number is 06 16 32 25 44 if you'd like to have a chat about your requirements.

Kind regards and happy cleaning!
Caroline xx

Unions' day of action today

Several unions in the public sector have called for a strike today in pursuit of demands for improvements to their standard of living. Since not all unions are involved the effect may be patchy, but schools, transport and social service offices may be closed.
Readers with appointments with such offices mat well be advised to check.
Most local TER trains are expected to run normally.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Clover seeds to save the bees

A bee-keeper in the Pyrenees offered to send clover seeds to anyone in the world who wanted them to promote the welfare of wild bees, which he says are essential to the ecology. More than 60000 replies were received and now Nicholas Puech is getting the first 40000 envelopes to be posted. He asked people to send him clover seeds and volunteers helped him to fill the envelopes, which will be posted to addresses throughout France, Europe, Africa and North America.
He hopes to introduce the idea into schools in September and repeat the exercise with other seeds.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

More from NZ

I found this article from that you might be interested in:
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
Dear Val,  We are blessed to have Jacinda Adern as our PM at this time , supported by our Mayor Lianne Dalziel who whilst an MP helped me many years ago when I was trying to save a drop in centre for people with severe mental illness.   On the day we closed and I had to tell the members that the doors would close  for good at 5pm, Lianne came with a bunch of flowers for me and sat in a corner well away from the media action, to support me . I have never forgotten and as a result of her support at that time I helped in her electorate office  with work for people of the Eastern suburbs who were the most affected by the earthquakes.   Love Ann

A weekend of marches

More than 350000 people marched throughout France yesterday to protest the government's perceived inaction on the climate changes. Of these around 45000 took to the streets of Paris, peaceably according to reports.
At the same time about 35000 "gilets jaunes" demonstrated, of whom around 10000 in the capital. Their protest included an attack on the shops and banks on the Champs Elysees, causing serious damage and looting. Probably the "casseurs" were from a fringe minority of ultra left wing anarchists whose aim is to destroy capitalism and its more obvious symbols. One apologist said it was, in their eyes, their only means of getting their point across.
A Melenchon party politician urged the two movements to combine their efforts as it is the only way things change in France: "Remember 1789, 1968, 1981.." A French friend (of left wing persuasion) reminded us recently that "France is a country of revolution". So logically the climate protestors should start to sack the city streets and block the roundabouts. The legitimate concerns of the gilet jaune protestors have been lost in the fog of tear gas as a result of extremist infiltration. The climate protestors, led by so many school and college students, should be wary of this.
Of course in the UK,  Farage called out his supporters to march from Sunderland to Westminster and around 400 heeded the call and set out in the rain.
Next Saturday 23rd March at least 500000 are expected to join an anti-Brexit march in London (the previous march attracted around 600000).