Friday, 28 August 2015

Accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the Uk

Someone sent this petition which I have signed and judging by the amount of things I am receiving for Calais and Greece many others will like to sign.
Thanks C for sending

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Cars at Negrepelisse

A weekend of old cars and a vide garage where you might just find the part you need.

We are selling our dream

Our favourite photos of the site,  after our own of course. A photo can sell a house and we think without prompting these are the photos we might have chosen. Lacks photos of bathrooms which as we have four might have been worth putting one in. In the good weather and sun we have had Mas del Sol has looked just gorgeous, but then again it is pretty stunning in autumn and winter.  We love it so. It cost us the price we are selling it for but it has been worth every penny.

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Nice way to spend Sunday

It's raining cepes

The rain last weekend followed by the hot weather has led to a glut of the delicious fungi. At the market of Vaissac (82), which is renowned for the sale of cepes, over 6 tons of cepes have been offered for sale this week, with prices falling to a record 8 euros the kilo.
Conkers are OK
If you are tempted to join the many mushroom collectors, remember that you must have the authorisation of the landowner. If you are in a foret domainiale you are free to collect produce, in communal forests only residents of the commune are authorised and in managed state woods there is a limit of 5 kilos. Penalties can be up to 75000 euros for organised unauthorised  mushroom picking.
We have known neighbours who were warned not to collect walnuts or chestnuts from trees that seemed to belong to nobody.
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A French court makes a ruling

Electomagnetic hypersenstivity to mobile and wifi is 'serious handicap', French court rules

French court rules that woman is unable to work due to the debilitating effect of mobile and wifi waves and should receive €800 per month in adult handicap welfare, in a legal first that could lead to many more claims.

I read this in the Telegraph but for years I have heard it was in people's imagination.
Malc says I am surprised we did not cover that story days ago, and escaping the electro magnetic waves is why people live in caves or out of way places. The lady in question has lived in the Pyrenees for some years, in tents or caves.

Another agency added to the list

Yesterday we had the agents AG3 immobilier from Cordes and Gaillac come and offer to sell our property. Renée Christine and Patrick Nowakowski are a charming couple, they do not speak English but have an English representative who helps. Working on the principle the more agents the better we are now with 4 around the area. We have a recommendation for Selection Habitat so may add them to our
If you have had a success selling your property or have tales of selling why not let us know.
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Nous sommes le vendredi, vingt huit août

Talking to a French friend yesterday she really could not understand how Malc and I had got involved with helping people; dogs now she could understand that and children in Mali she could just about understand. But refugees, it was for governments to help them. I agreed with her, it is for governments, all governments but when the UK government seems unable or the best solution is to build a 7 million pound fence, why stand on the sidelines?  Helping people in dire need whichever country you live in is something we want to do. I hope if we were in that situation someone would help us.
By the way I do not see it is politics I see it as just caring for other human beings.
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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Isolated but only 5 minutes from Varen

Val says for the couple who telephoned about the house here are the directions.
They could get internet connection but were struggling with phone connection, so readers excuse me using TAG
The route to Mas del Sol, Varen

From Varen take the main road towards Laguepie, then turn left onto the D20, Verfeil road. At 400 metres turn right (signposted St Martial). 400 metres further take the right fork towards Mas del Sol - look for the little sheep sign for La Bergerie. Climb 2kms until you see La Bergerie group on the left, with white gates. You can enter the parking area  30metres further on.

From Verfeil 

Take the main D20 towards Varen and the St Martial sign is the last on the left - then proceed as above.

Please do not go to St Martial - you will get lost unless you know the way. In desperation phone us on 0563640673

I was going to say, that looks fun

... till I read at

Hautacam : quatre blessés dans un accident de mountain-luge

Four people injured and one seriously,  helicoptered off to hospital.
Hope they are OK and it does not stop the fun, perhaps with more safety considerations.

A good financial adviser needed

Hi Val
Hope you are enjoying your deserved spell of peace and quiet. A little question for TAG if you don’t mind.

Could you ask if any of your readers have recommendations of financial advisers who are used to working with British clients living in France. I have a private pension coming my way which has to be reinvested. I keep being told that I need advice on the tax implications of taking lump sum etc especially as i am now under both the UK and French tax systems, but I’m aware that there are many sharks swimming around in these pension waters now that the law has changed.

Hi Val

The two most professional (and comprehensively regulated) firms of Anglo-French financial advisors, Siddalls and Blevins Franks, have recently merged under the latter name.  They are based in Bordeaux, often travel to TAGland, and are completely approachable.  The top man is Rupert Holderness, whom I thoroughly commend.  Telephone 05 56 34 75 51 or email (all in English).

Hope this helps

Hi Val, 
I would like to concur with C  regarding a recommendation for
Blevins Franks. We contacted them 5 years ago in the UK just before we
left for here permanently and have been using them ever since. We use
the Bordeaux office, Nick Pascoe was our original contact and now we
normally just chat with our client manager Ian Alexander once every so
We have been very happy with the advice they gave us regarding our
investments and they are also now advising us on what to do in the
future with our UK pensions. They also recommended the accountant we
use - who saved us €2000 the first year when the french authorities
messed up our tax demand.
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Record year for baby bears

The number of bears living in the Pyrenees has increased by a record number of 6 in 2015 according to the bodies monitoring them. The  number of bears in the mountains now totals 30, but concerns have been raised about the age of the dominant male, Pyros, who was born in 1988 and is now getting long in the tooth, but equally raises problems of in-breeding. Campaigners would like to see the introduction of a younger male to ensure the continued success of the species.

Pic. Conseil General d'Aran

Wall to wall sun

We really are doing well this year with weather, a few cooler days with rain in the last few months can be counted on your fingers. Temperatures still high mean lunch time and late night eating on terraces, balconies and in gardens is still going on. We just love it as long as we are in the shade, looking out at the sun.
Pets are not so chuffed with the heat and tend to sleep all day, becoming lively about 9pm. Donkeys stay in the stable sheltering away from those pesky flies, and  cats well they sleep as they normally do.
cat Freddy likes the log basket
We are on a tidying mission after  adults and kids have left, always an odd sock, sweet papers, and a pair of knickers to be found!
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Restaurants along the river in Toulouse with swimming pools
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Round and round it goes

A young girl had an uncaring childhood with a mother with problems; now at 23 this young lady has two children 2 and 4 years old. They were left on their own in a house for two days without clothes, bin bags full of rubbish, terrible smells in the house. 

 Elle a eu une enfance miséreuse. Elle n'a pas été élevée par une mère normale.

The children found in the Lot area have been taken into care and the girl has received 5 months suspended. So sad stories like this and one wonders what will happen to these two children in the long term.
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Work at the Chateau Dumas

Dear Val,
I was wondering if you would be kind enough to let your readers know that the beautiful 18th Century Chateau Dumas, 6km from Caussade, is looking for 2 friendly and energetic people to help run their creative and residential workshops (www.chateaudumas.netfrom the 12th of September until the 31st October 2015 - or part thereof.
They are full-time paid positions, which would include waitressing, assisting in the kitchen and chambermaid duties….plus anything else that comes along!!!  Could be live-in or live-out.  
A great opportunity to work in a wonderful setting, as part of a small friendly team.
Anyone interested should send me an e-mail at
Many thanks,
Director/Wedding & Event Planner

Nous sommes le jeudi vingt sept août

Well I was not expecting this when I saw the death by mushroom at Moissac. The poor chap aged in his sixties had a heart attack whilst mushrooming  and died in the woods.
I thought it was going to be a story warning about eating poisonous mushrooms.

Tragique cueillette, hier matin, près de Moissac. Un Toulousain est décédé en ramassant des champignons dans un bois de Piac. L'homme âgé d'une soixantaine d'années est mort brutalement, vers 7 h 30, dans un bois près de Moissac, en s'adonnant à sa passion pour la cueillette des champignons. Pris d'un malaise cardiaque, son épouse a joint immédiatement le SAMU. L'intervention des secours n'a pas permis de sauver le Toulousain. Le médecin urgentiste n'a rien pu faire pour ramener à la vie la victime. Le malheureux chercheur de champignon est décédé sur place.
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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Albi, river view

Photo Albi tourisme
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Looking down on St. Antonin Noble Val

What a beautiful place we live in
Photo by Lorraine Dowson
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Burning the ivory: imagine a world without elephants

Imagine elephants, lions and tigers becoming mythical figures of fairy tales? Well we are on the brink of that.
An inventory of stocks of ivory held in museums is being made  before stock is burnt. At the demand of the Minister of Ecology several dozens of cases are set to be destroyed. Ivory entering the country illicitly   from 1987 to 2007 will be burnt. All to discourage the hunting of elephants who are in danger of disappearing.  thank heavens a stand is being made, hopefully not too late.
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Raising money for Cancer research

Hi Val.

Just received a telephone call asking me if it’s possible to have you once again remind all your readers that the Entente Cordiale Concert is this Friday.

Doors open at 7pm with a free glass of wine. It’s suggested that people arrive as early as possible for the best seats and of course those seats in the shade early on.

Wine, Water and soft drinks will be available. Picnics are welcome. The ladies tell me that there should be seating and tables for everyone.

All proceeds are going to the Claudius Regaud Institute in Toulouse.

Kind regards

On Behalf of Entente Cordial Gaillacoise

At Caylus

Sans permis - it's cool

So often we read of some recidivist driver flashed at 200 kph who turns out to be "sans permis", having lost his licence. But "sans permis" is also associated with those little  cars driven by 90 year-old "papis" (granddads). Now, however, they are becoming popular with teenagers who can drive them from 14 years of age.
Similar to little scooters they require a "AM" permis, obtainable after 7 hours of practical and theoretical instruction. Parents are buying them for children because they are safer than scooters and allow the kids to be less dependent on them for lifts to extra-curricular events after school. The youngsters like them because they are often well equipped (a car stereo?) and give them independence. Speed restricted to about 50 kph they represent a reasonably safe way to learn about traffic and driving.
We wonder if they will be asking for parking in the school yards (like we had bicycle sheds).
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How Laguepie must have changed

Just one street in Laguepie showing how the village has changed. Other streets in the village are the same with shop windows now being incorporated into parts of houses. The shop windows are still left showing what a commercial village " Laga" must have been in times past.
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Holidays are over

There we were with bathing cossies at the ready for the last play on the " gonflable" but there it was  "gone" (Laga is the girls name for Laguepie) Laga is one of the families favourite places on holiday and the bars for café créme and ice creams are where we relax.
For us and family, great times past, other good times to look forward to.
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Facebook is a mecca for racist attitudes

Do you know I despair when looking at Facebook. So many people willing to share blatant rubbish about Muslims. A  picture arrives with blurb with bold text often saying a soldier has been insulted in some way by a Muslim or the latest says Tesco would not serve a soldier in uniform as Muslims might be insulted. There is always a picture of an ugly Muslim along with the story. You are asked to share and one of the readers suggested we ban Tesco.
One only needs to follow back the post to see that the story is being circulated by a rabid racist and all their posts are in the same vein. It would make me despair, if I was not being sent clothes, bedding and toiletries for refugees.
We have to fight these racist remarks and stand up and be counted for humanity.
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Portes Ouvertes

Nous sommes le mercredi vingt six août

Is summer over?
We went to Laguepie yesterday to have one last play on the " gonflable" on the river... to find it gone!
Summer for the children in Laguepie ended on the 23rd of August so the notice told us. Well it actually said that was when the river would be closed and the lifeguard would no longer be there.
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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Members get first bookings, why not become a member ?

Rita and Angie have been best friends for more than 60 years and together, they've experienced every milestone, every setback. Now, as Rita says goodbye to her lifelong companion, a surprising journey of self-discovery unfolds: there's a fine line between following your desires and conforming to expectations.
Written by Ronnie Dorsey and performed by Judith Paris, this touching story is both compelling and uplifting.

It's impossible not to get sucked in by the power of Paris's high-quality storytelling...” Edinburgh Evening News
Judith an incredibly intimate and moving performance...”

The bar will be open as usual from 6pm and the show starts at 7pm.
There will be a chance to meet both performer and writer after the show, and you can also join us for dinner at Le Petit Resto in Les Cabannes (more details shortly).

To book your tickets, please email the usual address: 
fetatlecolombier@gmail.comMembers € 15 Non-Members € 20
NB: Please send your cheque in good time to confirm your reservation
Julie Pearson FET Bookings and Membership Secretary

In the steps of Amélie Galup

Concert at Puycelsi

Sunday September 13th 18.00hr. Puycelsi
The Puycelsi Choir organised by Ginny and Ross Jenkins will be singing Haydn’s Nelson Mass or as the French prefer to know it  Missa in Angustelis. Another work to be played by the organist Nicholas ONeill will be Bach’s Toccata and Fugue.
However the true star of this evening will be the opportunity to see the finished restoration of the Chapel dedicated to St John, the baptismal chapel. To say it looks stunning is an understatement.
The season in Puycelsi is not quite finished and the Roc Café will be open and if it is dry and warm enough Au Cabenon will be open for a post-concert meal.
Tickets are now available price €15.00 from Ross and Ginny tel 05 63 33 15 84. Students under 18, €12.00 and children under 10 free. Booking recommended

Thank you


Au Jardin des Paradis

Coke and chocolates

Pic MaxPPP. Serving suggestion!
Not a dream MacDo menu, but what police in Toulouse found when they raided a flat in the city last week. Amongst the 2.6 kg of cocaine they seized was 1kg hidden in the foiled wrapped chocolates in boxes of confectionery. The police had been trailing the suspects for some months to discover how the drugs made their way from South America to la ville rose. 5 people, French. Dutch and central American in origin were arrested.
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French pole vaulter takes bronze

Renaud Lavillenie is the world's best pole vaulter. World record holder; Olympic and European champion; but never world champion.
Beaten into third place in Beijing, Lavillonie admitted he was disappointed and although a medal is good, it was the "wrong colour".
Other great athletes have for some reason or other failed to make their ultimate goal, such as Paula Radcliffe at the Olympics, so you just have to accept as the Frenchman said "it's just not my event".
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Mixed grazing, not something you see very often

 An idyllic scene with horses, cows and sheep, a picture from a smallholder in France.
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Nous sommes le mardi vingt cinq août

We have managed to keep TAG vibrant and newsy with difficulty having different family members here for well over a month. We will be sad when our daughter and girls leave today but we may sleep for a week to recover.
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Monday, 24 August 2015

Folk'n'Jazz at La Vigerie

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Contact me if you want a dog, I generally have an idea what is available.

Dogs big, dogs small, dogs young and dogs not so young. They can all be seen at La Mere Aux Betes, or Poorpaws. If your French is not good contact Sue at Poorpaws who works closely with Danielle at La Mere aux Betes. If you want advice on a dog you can always contact me. No need to buy a pedigree dog when beauties like this are waiting for you. All are chipped and vaccinated. Dogs found in St. Antonin and area are also  sadly always plentiful.
On rehoming animals in Midi Pyrenees on Facebook there is a lovely border collie, 8 mths old chipped and vaccinated being given away as he does not want to work the sheep.
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Violent storms, two deaths

Violents storms at Montpellier yesterday afternoon caused the death of two elderly people when their car was carried away by an overflwing river.

The life of a grandparent !

What have we got ourselves into?  The last day of the holiday for the girls and their Mum here in France. Inspired by Jessica Ennis Hill winning Gold at the Beijing Athletic World Championships we are organising a mini athletics day at Mas del Sol.
We have so far on the list, swimming, running, jumping, table tennis, croquet, badminton and freestyle movement. We apparently can chose 3 disciplines to excel in. Saying my back has just about recovered holds no sway and so we will be whole heartedly entering the spirit of the event. We will apparently be racing against our personal bests. Malc and I are smiling as we do not think we have a PB.
Pray for rain and a tiddlywinks game.
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Heroes honoured

The three American and the British man who tackled and disarmed the suspected terrorist on a train from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday are today being honoured by President Hollande.
Invited to the Elysee palace this morning (Monday) the four men will be invested with the Legion d'Honneur.
The men are being called the "Thalys heroes" after the train they were on: "Thalys" is a company formed jointly by SNCF, Belgian, Dutch and Deutschebahn (German) railways to run high speed trains between  northern France and its neighbours.
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Killed by beer

A young Comite des Fetes volunteer in Varaire, a small village in the Lot, was killed when unloading beer kegs from a lorry at the village fete. A second man was also injured. Police are investigating the cause of the accident, with a broken restraining chain being favoured.
Sadly one wonders if untrained volunteers doing what always seems a dangerous task are at greater risk as kegs of beer are seriously heavy.
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Nous sommes le lundi, vingt quatre août

President Hollande will greet the train heroes at the Elysee Palace on Monday morning, a source close to his office told AFP.
Armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an automatic pistol, nine cartridge clips and a box-cutter, the attacker opened fire on board a high-speed Thalys train just after it crossed from Belgium into northern France on Friday evening.
But the attack was quickly stopped when two off-duty US servicemen and their friend charged the gunman and restrained him. A British passenger also assisted in subduing the man.
One passenger received a gunshot wound in the attack, while one of the US servicemen was injured with a knife.
Val says the US soldiers on leave say it was not down to army training but just quick thinking. I disagree, their army training made them know a gun had jammed and the training they had received made them know how to tackle the man. The terrorist is now saying he is not a terrorist just an armed thief but he was already tagged as a  possible terrorist suspect. However or whatever thank heavens those two American soldiers were on that train.

Migrants France was happy to welcome

On the 15th of August 1944 thousands of migrants, Algerians, Moroccans, Senegalese, descended on Provence in the South of  France to come and fight and help liberate France. How short are memories?
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Sunday, 23 August 2015

It is like an International aid centre here

So said our daughter as we packed boxes and sacks of children's clothes in the boot of Jean Marie Nosal's car. We had been donated sacks of childrens's clothes and Calais say they have enough of those at the moment. We discovered that Jean Marie had a friend driving all the way to Mali with an empty car and  guess what he wanted to fill it with. Children's clothes. A supporter of Via Sahel
in the next couple of weeks will  be going on the long drive, giving us more space for sacks for Calais.
We were pleased to also give Via Sahel Enfants d'Afrique 245 euros from various donations raised from family and TAG supporters.
Once holiday time is over here in the middle of the week, I will be sorting bags and preparing them for their trip to Calais.
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Down they come

The plane trees along the Canal du Midi many are being cut down because of a " maladie" There is a campaign to get the trees replaced but it takes years and years to replace avenues of trees like this.
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Fake emails relating to your carte vitale

A GROWING number of fraudulent emails are doing the rounds claiming to be from France's official public administration, users have been warned.

The latest batch of "phishing" attempts involves an email relating to the Carte Vitale, the card used to obtain healthcare refunds in France.

The email, which has the logo at the top, invites recipients to provide personal details including their bank or card details to receive a reimbursement. says it never sends out emails asking for money or bank details, or offering a refund.

If you have already replied to the email, you should contact your bank immediately to block any fraudulent transactions being made.

Phishing emails that appear to come from government services can be reported using this online tool - - See more at:

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Photography exhibition at St. Antonin

Un sentiment de Paris - a solo exhibition by Corrina Tough photographer
Sept 2 nd at 10.30 am la Porte bleu, Rue droite St. Antonin.
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Art Quercy Espace Bonnaïs, Caussade

Good morning Val,
As the weather has cooled down a bit and more rain is forecast, I am doing another shout out for the wonderful art exhibition I am part of.  Paintings and sculptures, beautiful, uplifting or fun, take your pick. The exhibition is on until Wednesday afternoon, open daily from 10 am till 7 pm. I shall be there this pm and tomorrow (Monday) from 13-16 hours . Hope to see some of you there.
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Fête de nuit at Najac last night

Lovely photos by Gareth Brown
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Chocolates with a difference

La coke / the cocain was hidden in the choclates which arrived at Toulouse. I  did wonder if they were found by a sniffer dog. A kilo of drugs, which is a fair amount was found.
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Changing a light bulb in Rodez

Claude Leveque: Le bleu de l'oeil
The installation by Claude Leveque at the Musee Soulages in Rodez has been closed indefinitely following vandalism of one of the neon tubes by a visitor on Friday. The rest of the museum is open as usual. The artist is not able to repair the exhibit as the specialist firm which makes the neon tubes is closed for "conges annuels".
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Found on facebook, but I do not agree

I love Dr Seuss books normally so funny and I did like the cat in the hat spin off that some wag did on Nigel Farage. This one I feel just does not get my positive mood on ageing.
Malc and I are having a whale of a time, loving to laugh, laughing a lot through any health issues and have really positive attitudes.
Be positive and laugh and be grateful for what you have that works

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Nous sommes le dimanche vingt trois août

A storm in the distance last night and Malc tells me there were claps of thunder and rain about 6 am.
Looking a bit damp for events happening today but it is still very warm.

The youngsters will be sad when they get up as Katerina Johnson Thompson did not get her long jump in and will not get a medal, but the good news Jessica Ennis Hill is set to get gold.  Back to bad news in  that Andy Murray lost to Federer.
I throw this in, as that is all that is talked about at the moment.

Kathy dog rehomer has left a long message on the answerphone about Happy. She has been trying to find a solution, but there is no home for him at the moment, everywhere is full with all the dogs abandoned over the summer whilst they go on holiday. She like me thinks making a fenced area in the garden with a kennel would solve the situation, in the short term at least.
Mirka has settled well with her new adopters and everyone is happy.
I must make sure she knows about a dog at Parisot Lac that has been there for two weeks, no collar. The picnic  bar owner said he had told Huguette the vet and she will have passed it on to Kathy. If you know anyone who has lost a beautiful male dog, mainly black, but with a bit of white on his chest. Looks a bit like a big border collie but very hairy. If you or anyone has lost this dog he is at the Lac.
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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Can you spot him?

The mountain dog of the Pyrenees in the middle of the flock.
 taken from Mother  Earth News
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Key cutting at the newsagents

Hi Val
Great to hear this. But surely it would have been more of a job  for our local Quincaillerie?   Or is that too obvious?

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Key cutting at St. Antonin

Hi Val
I forgot to attach the photo of Dominique at her key cutting machine.

It is that time again

Mushrooms, we love them and picking something for nothing we love even more. You do need to be careful with what you pick. Check at your local pharmacy that what you have picked is safe to eat. 5 tourists in the Ariege did not check and have ended up at hospital in Saint Girons poisoned. 

Ariège : 5 touristes hospitalisés à Saint-Girons après une intoxication alimentaire aux champignons.

You can visit the castle of Caylus today

Le Fouace at Najac this week end

Apple help

Dear Val, 

I am looking for someone in the Cordes Area who is a whizz on 'APPLE.'

 I have a MacBOok Pro, an Iphone, and a very kind person has just given me an iPad , and I don't seem to get them all synced correctly!  and my address book is all over the place.... I really need someone who could and spend a couple of hours chez moi getting me sorted.  Is there any one who can give a hand, or show me where to put my fingers..... !

Joanna  Townshend Boegner
tel:  France +33 (0)9 67 31 77 41
      iPhone  +33 (0) 63 77 77 087
Val says look in the side bar, there is an advert for someone who does everything apple.

More to Happy than meets the eye

We needed more information on Happy and how he is with children,( has he bitten anyone ? ) so I phoned to find out more.
He has never bitten anyone child or adult but the family think as he is very protective of them and the grand children coming have never had dogs or understand them, (the youngest is 4) so  it might be difficult.
The dog is allowed outside the house on his own with their other dog a border collie. There has never been any trouble with neighbours children or passing walkers and farmers.
Happy has jumped at a visitors trousers and pulled them.
He does not chase cats, is curious but that is all.
He does not go away, staying around the property but does bark with the other dog at strangers. He has seen a dog behaviorist who he was an angel for. The result of this meeting was that although the dog is protective of the owners it might be wiser not to rehome with young children. The teenagers next door to Happy often play with him.
If you feel you could give Happy a home contact Celia and Peter
My email is
My husbands email is
Our home phone number is:- 05 65 29 84 69
I look forward to hearing from you
Celia & Peter

Elly Wright exhibiting at Caussade until 26th August

Now at Espace Bonnaïs, Caussade, until 26 August
Lovely work Elly
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Nous sommes le samedi vingt deux août

Lovely today but a poor forecast for the weekend. Do we go to Najac or Espinas in the rain on Sunday?
Our girls are keen athletes and will be following closely the World Athletics championship at Pékin.
At Beijing to us but Pékin still to the French. They are also tennis fans so following closely Andy Murray who is now second in the world, just beaten  French Richard Gasquet and is in the semi finals of the Cincinnati  Masters, the warm up for the US open. Our little eight year old reels off all the athletes and tennis players, knows their times, where their clubs are and could be on mastermind for facts and figures. If she is not turning cartwheels and being timed on runs she is telling me about other athletes.
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Trouble on the trains

In addition to the story below of shootings on an Amsterdam/Paris express, passengers on a TGV bound for Paris from the south noticed smoke coming from one of the motors, which then caught fire. The train was halted in the middle of the countryside and the 800 passengers forced to evacuate to nearby fields (on a very hot day). Pompiers quickly extinguished the fire, but the line was closed for several hours, the passengers arriving in Paris many hours later.
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Key cutting service in St. Antonin

Hi Val
 As you may have read in La Dépêche, Dominique, manager of the newsagents in St Antonin, is now offering a key cutting service from a stock of 830 types of keys.
 Best wishes
Val says thanks John