Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The continuing saga on applying for a carte de sejour

Hello Val

We had 7 working days to produce the documents requested.  We went to Montauban this afternoon to be told that we would need another RDV to give these personally to the Agent.  However, there were NO available appointments until well after this time.  We refused the appointment and were ready to leave the documents on the desk when another women appeared from one of the offices.  She looked at the papers and said that they were OK and took them away with her??

We feel that there is a strong possibility that if couples take seperate appointments it could lead to a situation where, although both have arrived in France together, one could be elligible for a Carte de Sejour and the other not. 

From what I can gather from other people it is just this one women who seems to have a problem.  We will just have to wait and see what happens in our case.


More information

Hi Val
I have seen Hazel’s post re a carte de séjour from Montauban. Perhaps she should pass on her experience to RIFT’s Facebook page, as they are really helpful in terms of advice and also want to monitor the different processes/attitudes in different departments. Those who have been processed in Montauban have nothing but praise for the staff there. There’s also a non -EU chap looking for advice re citizenship. The Toulouse citizenship Facebook group is really helpful too. It’s called British People Gaining French Citizenship Together in Toulouse but I’ve also seen queries from non-EU people and they may be able to point the man in the right direction if they can’t help him themselves.
Sarah Brown

Monday, 17 September 2018

Oh dear, not good

Last week we managed to secure a cancellation for John to to to Montauban to apply for his Carte de Sejour.  We met a lovely man who asked for each piece of information in a clear voice.  When it came to proving that we had lived in France for 5 years he selected copies of the Taxe Foncieres and d'habitation (along with originals) from the things we had provided (electricity bills, telephone bills etc).  It was a pleasant experience.  My appointment this afternoon was totally different.

Armed with the same file as last week we confidently approached the office and came face to face with a small women with short, dark hair.  Then the nightmre began.  It started off OK with my personal information but proving our 5 years here became difficult.  She rejected everything from last week and demanded our Tax Returns.   Not a problem we had copies of the front sheet that showed our number and how much tax we had been asked for.  Not enough, she also wants the 2nd sheet and also proof that we have actually paid.

We now have a piece of paper showing what information she needs with a directive that we have to deliver them by hand and give them to her.  She did relent a bit here and has said we can send them by post but there is no way we are going to send original copies of our tax returns in the post.  To get this card we have to do as she says but think this is french bureaucracy at its worse or best depending on which side you are on.

Hazel Armfield
Val says our RDV is the 2nd Oct. I hope we get the man
Malc adds: according to your avis there is no need to produce original tax returns for official purposes, provided you have a photocopy verified by a revenue site :  www.impots.gouv.fr/verifavis
However I have only managed to have recent years verified despite it apparently having been publicised since 2015

Book swap lunch

This is to remind you that there will be a book swap lunch on Monday 1st October at 12 noon. As I will be away, I need to have final numbers no later than Friday 21st so if you wish to be included for lunch please let me know if you haven’t already done so.

Many thanks.

Helen. daxlore@wanadoo.fr

Autumn weekend at Espinas

As we cross the autumn equinox (even if the weather seems to be resisting it) next weekend, Espinas is planning a celebration, with theatre on Saturday and a vide grenier on Sunday.

Our best wishes to Sarah

My bestest work buddy Sarah Brown had an accident yesterday and fell down their stone steps breaking not just one but both ankles. Poor Sarah will probably have the next two or three months in a wheel chair. Our thoughts go to her and to Gareth who from experience when Malc was ill I know how hard it is for the carer.
Without Sarah my right hand man and with two outlets now opened it is also going to be a struggle for Mains Tendues 82. If you had thought of offering help now might be the time, even if it is just for the winter months. We need people to help us pick up donations, sort donations and help in the shop Saturday morning for a couple of hours. Contact me privately if you want to find out more.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Acquiring French nationality

Hello Di

I saw your question on Val's blog, Tag Lines.  

I don't think there's any particular privilege given to EU nationals when it comes to acquiring French citizenship - it's something I think is open equally to people of all nationalities who are legally resident here.  Were it not, I think the Poms who are whingeing about Brexit (me included) would have it on their long list of privileges they stand to lose when the UK leaves the EU.  

The regulations governing the grant of French nationality state that the Interior Ministry has 2 years to decide whether to say yes or no in any individual case, and that this is reduced to 1 year if the applicant has been French resident for more than 10 years.  I don't know which applies if an applicant passes the 10 year point while their application is being processed! 

Hope this helps in some small measure.

Best wishes


Resonances in the garden

Jean Donies welcomes visitors to the Jardins de Quercy
For the Patrimoine weekend we went to hear and see the duo "Winner Team" in the superb setting of the Jardins de Quercy, between Varen and Verfeil. Created over the last 25 years the bare hillside has been transformed into a series of gardens which represent different themes and heritages.
Winner Team
The day was sunny and warm, but not too hot and we were helped around the difficult paths by one of the creators, Alain Herreman who took the time to escort Malc along tricky passages, carrying stools to ensure that Taglines had seats in the shade.
The musicians, on clarinet and accordion, played in three different gardens with talent and humour. The music ranged from klezmer via tango to Sidney Bechet, with a not too subtle reference to the French World Cup triumph in the shape of Queen's "We Are the Champions (of the world)". The audience joined in with singing and well deserved applause.
John Donies the fellow garden creator reminded us that payments taken for entry to the gardens are to fund an association called "Toutes a l'ecole", which funds schools for girls' education in Cambodia (though today entry was free).
Music in the garden settings
The lovely afternoon at Cambou was just a refresher for so many of us there today, but the gardens are open each week in the summer, so get along there before it closes for the winter.
comments to taglines82@gmail.com

What a great week end

Well our second frip is open in Varen, one for clothes, one for furniture and bric a brac.
It was a really busy couple of days.
Thanks to Everyone who donated cakes and to Caroline Mills who donated cakes and brought bunting for the building giving a lovely festive 
Thank you also to all who came and hope you will continue to support us.

The sky here last night

Wonderful sky last night, Malc took this photo about 8.30pm
Taglines82@ gmail.com

Contraband cigarettes here..

"carotte" at metro station Barbes: screen capture
A Paris metro station well-known to be a place where sellers of contraband cigarettes can be found was embellished with a fake "carotte" as the famous tabac sign is known.
During the night of Friday/Saturday some unknown person attached the sign to the wall outside the station, to the amusement of passers-by and the anger of local "buralistes", as tobacconists are called.
In a time when addicts can apparently order cocaine or cannabis by text from local dealers in many big cities, putting up a sign seems a little old fashioned. However, the sale of counterfeit or contraband cigarettes is wide-spread in cities near the borders of countries where tobacco is cheaper and is leading to gang warfare on a scale reminiscent of other drug wars.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Calling Aussies, Americans et al

Hi Val
Trust all is well in your neck of the woods.
I have a question for any of your readers who are non-EU residents. eg Aust, NZ, Canadian, US. Can someone tell me how long it took to be approved as an EU National. I mainly hear of the experiences of Brits (EU citizens), but i can't recall anyone in the same bracket as us (Aust citizens) who have applied for citizenship. I'm keen to know the length of time it took, accepting the variations that occur across Prefectures. Also any additional information as to the process would be welcomed. 

This artist can amuse (sometimes)

Pic : Remi Benoit
Taglines has covered several of the installations of James Colomina, an artist and sculptor from Toulouse. His trademark work is to place a human figure, always red, in unexpected poses and places. This time he has taken advantage of restoration work on the statue of Jeanne D'Arc, in the eponymous Toulouse square, to place a red man on the empty plinth.
But the figure has an apple for his head. Colomina explains that the apple represents unnecessary consumption, as the apple was temptation to consume, which mankind (in the figure of Adam) chose to ignore.
The artist's work is well known and has been shown in Paris and New York, as well as the streets of Toulouse. Replacing the Maid of Orleans with an apple headed man will amuse many and cause some to protest. Art can be like that!
comments to taglines82@gmail.com

Friday, 14 September 2018

Loto money to preserve the heritage

This Patrimoine (heritage) weekend is to celebrate and visit those structures which form part of France's heritage - not just old buildings, but newer projects which capture the imagination of all generations.
The system of protection and preservation has existed since the first patrimoine fund was established in 1819 and communes have been charged with dealing with upkeep of their cultural heritage. Now a lottery has ben set up by FDJ, the body charged with operation of the various lotteries and scratch cards sold in France, with the sole aim of supporting heritage projects. The "patrimoine" loto is expected to raise up to 20 million euros via the cards and the lottery, the first draw of which will be made tonight.
With a jackpot of 13 million euros over 250 projects stand to benefit, projects which have bid for funding and range from historic abbeys to abandoned railway installations.
Buyers of the tickets and cards may be attracted by the prospect of a big win rather than saving the patrimoine, but perhaps the ends justify the means.
comments to taglines82@gmail.com

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Patrimoine weekend: many events to celebrate

Taglines has published many of the concerts and exhibitions this European Patrimoine days. Just a reminder of one in a superb garden: les Jardins de Quercy on Sunday, 14.30, entry free.
For a complete national guide click on the link, then choose the department you want and many of the events have a link to opening times etc. http://www.journees-du-patrimoine.com/

Art exhibition in Caussade

I am very pleased to invite you to the Private View of the ART QUERCY 2018 exhibition on 

Wednesday 19 September 2018 at 18.00 hours

Together with my artist colleagues, as well as the entire team at ART QUERCY, 

I look forward to welcoming you to show you our new paintings, sculptures, photos and installations.

Espace Bonnaïs,

Avenue de la Solidarité, 82300 Caussade

Free entry from 10 to 19 hours every day from 19-27 September 2018 

ellywright131@gmail.com +44 7790 858438 / 060 2248 187 www.ellywrightart.com

Opening Friday 15h to 17h Varen opposite the halle

Our second friperie opens tomorrow in the centre of Varen opposite the halle.
We will now have a clothes boutique in the old mairie and in the old hotel it will be the larger furniture and bric a brac.
Grand opening at 3 pm. / 15h
Hope to see you there, coffee, tea and cakes on offer
Normal opening times Saturday 10 to 12, every Saturday throughout the year.
friday 13h a 15h  to bring your donations

Concert at the Abbaye de Beaulieu.

Farah et Abderrahmane, que vous avez déjà eu le plaisir, peut-être, d'écouter au château de Bruniquel ou à la Caverne, donnent un concert à l'Abbaye de Beaulieu samedi 15 sept. À 17h. 

Farah chante, Abderrahmane joue du saz, ils sont très jeunes et tous deux syriens réfugiés à Toulouse depuis quelques mois.

En résonance avec l'exposition "Exils" présentée dans le dortoir des convers : œuvres d'artistes de différentes nationalités exilés en France 

Venez nombreux/ses les encourager dans ce magnifique lieu !

More information about Brexit

Surveys of UK citizens living and working in EU countries suggest that many either are 1) bored with Brexit, 2) know nothing about it, 3) are terrified and anxious, or 4) hiding from it in the hope it goes away.

This link from ECREU, an organisation concerned with the effects of Brexit (without being pro or con in principle) covers the progress or lack of it towards an exit agreement and how it could impact on our lives, dealing especially in a "no deal" scenario.


It is worth a read.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Donkeys being rehomed

Hi Val, can you post this please:

As I am retiring from active donkey rescue next year I have several donkeys/mules/ponies to place. Do you have the commitment, land and shelter but most importantly the time and love to offer a life long home to any of my best friends.  These donkeys have been taken in either direct from the butchers or horse meat markets. After much care and attention they are now in a perfect condition. 
Admin, hope this is ok as I am a registered Association, if not pls delete !
Jan Lemmy. Liberte des Anes