Sunday, 24 May 2015

Consistently getting high viewing figures

Running at 1,240 at the moment, I reckon it will be over 1,400 at the very least by midnight. I will let you know tomorrow.
Comments to

Cheap and cheerful and good value

Hi Val
Thanks for the recommendation Val, as you can see the ‘students’ had a good time there.  I was mighty relieved as  after I had passed on the info i went on Trip Advisor – aaargh !!  Anyway I rely more on you thant TA !
Just got back from the Book Sale at Beauville, had a good day and made enough to pay for the dogs’ food this month – yey !
 Sue x Poorpaws
Val says I was asked by Sue where some friends passing through St. Antonin should eat, not to spend too much time as on the way to the airport and not too expensive. Well the obvious choice a we all know is the Gazpacho. I have just read the reviews on Trip  adviser, which are terrible. I remember last time I looked it said it was the place for anglophones. Now if you eat in the bar through the week it is full of French workmen.  I copied one of the quotes to show you.

1 5 étoilesAvis écrit le 10 mai 2015

Surtout, ne vous arrêtez pas. De la nourriture mal décongelée, un prix démesuré vu le rapport qualité/prix et une déco qui va de pair avec le "repas". Ne dois en aucun s'
Well this has never been our experience and I suggest those who like the Gazpacho send in some decent reviews. It is not high cuisine I grant you but we personally have never had anything but good value.

Karen does well

Hi Val
All done. It was warm & it was hilly.  I did my hour slot at 11am & ran 10.58km.  Thanks to everyone who sponsored me. 510euros.  The total, so far, for our team, is over 1.300.
Anyone still keen to part with some euros, send a chq to me & I will pass it on.

Thanks again.

# believe

# believe
Believe that tomorrow night Malc's club since he was a young lad Middlesbrough is going to Wembley to play Norwich in the Championship play off final and win.
Which ever team wins goes on to be promoted to the first division. Malc who had a chance of a ticket had to turn it down as it is one of the final rehearsal concerts for the Voices choir which is directed by Becky Brown.
The choir will be singing next Saturday 30th at the Theatre at Villefranche at 21h / 9pm
So GOOD luck to the Boro' and # believe is apparently posted all over Middlesbrough and on the internet and
Good luck to the Voices choir next Saturday
... and of course the best of luck to Ruby.
Comments to

Andy Pudding

Comments to

A superb pigeonnier at Solomiac Septfonds

Comments to

Still some tickets left

Dear Val,

There are still a few tickets available for our second show of 2015:-

“The Second Best Bed”, starring Liz Grand as Anne Hathaway.

On the night of Shakespeare's funeral, the wake is finished and the mourners have all gone home, leaving Anne to remember her life with the greatest playwright the world has ever seen...
Or was he? 
Did he really write the plays? His widow would know, if anybody did. Wouldn't she?

In this frank, funny and revealing one-woman play, we get to know William Shakespeare as never before.
"Lifts the lid on a Tudor can of worms..." Worcester News


WEDNESDAY 27th MAY at 7pm (bar opens 6pm)
To reserve your seats, please email:
Ticket price : € 15 members  € 20 non-members

Keeping motorists in the dark

If you have been on parts of the Toulouse rocade (ring road) these last few nights you may have noticed that there has been no lighting. This was due to an experiment to see what effect it has on motorists if the major routes have no or low lighting. The benefits to the operators include cost savings; to the public less light pollution and nuisance to those living close by.
The results of the study will be published by the end of the year and could lead to all the lamps being turned off in 2016.
comments to

Ruby needs to be on her best behaviour tomorrow

A long day for Katy, dog rehomer and I tomorrow when we drive nearly four hours to a prospective new owner for Ruby. I have a picnic ready to be packed and bottles of water and dog bowl all ready to go... along with darling Ruby.
Wish Ruby luck and crossed fingers for a happy rehoming.
This dog touches all our hearts and wherever I go people ask me if she has found a home.
Comments to

No exam, so half marks

3000 Toulouse students wanting to take their exam in English were told the night before that the exam was cancelled.
Apparently the  Jean-Jaures University had double booked its amphitheatres and could not hold the exams. So all the candidates were awarded 10/20 (French exams seem all to be marked out of 20). This score cancelled out any marks obtained for course work - angering students whose marks for course work were well above 10. They feel, probably with reason, that such an average mark could damage their future prospects for masters studies.
The University says students who want to take the exam can sit it on 29th June. But no comment on whether the course work can be considered.
comments to

The passion of one lady

Last  night we were invited to the home of a French lady  called Therese Gautier. Therese could only be described as an educated globe trotting Parisian, a nurse who worked in Algeria.  Since she retired to Verfeil sur Seye around 20 years ago she has indulged her passion. She has practically single handedly restored the charming church at Selgues. She has held concerts and events in that church and in the church at Verfeil all to raise funds.
Therese is a woman a very strong in her faith in the Catholic religion. She accepts help from us all who are not Catholics and often quips about our lack of religion, but in the nicest way. She is a lady "formidable" and she has at least two concerts in the pipeline this year.
A wonderful traditional French cook we enjoyed her "fait  maison" foie gras, lamb, ( but not one of her pets,) flageolet/ beans and the dessert was oeufs en neige/ eggs in snow which was a bit like ile flottante.
We love her stories, last night we heard about her childhood in France in the war time, stories about local clergy and of course her potager and cooking.
 What a great evening, thank you Therese.
Comments to

Dany le Rouge

Born in Montauban 70 years ago Daniel Cohn-Bendit has taken French nationality. His parents were German refugees of Jewish origin and Dany rose to fame (infamy?) in 1968 as a leader in the student revolts which led to major changes to the education system and had a widespread impact throughout Europe. Dubbed "Dany le Rouge" he was expelled from France, having opted for German nationality to avoid military service.
Remaining radical, Dany became a militant ecologist and was elected as a Euro deputy in France and has now applied for French nationality to reflect, as he says, his triple identity: French, German and European.
comments to taglines82@gmail,com

Such good news, this is the third time we have told you

nous sommes dimanche,le vingt quatre

The Evaders Garden at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show

A beautiful garden designed by Burgundy evader's son John Everiss as a tribute to the escape lines

Occupied Europe WW2 - an RAF airmen has just parachuted out of a crashing bomber, his ghostly image briefly shelters in an old abandoned church his parachute trailed out before him. Inscribed on the walls the names of people who could help him but would later pay with their lives. 
Stan Everiss, the designer’s father, was an RAF evader who was helped to freedom by ordinary French citizens after being shot down in 1943. Inspired by these acts of selfless bravery, the garden’s design reflects the bond between helper and evader.

A sculpture of a young pilot, seconds after parachuting into France, hides in the ruins of a war-damaged church. His eyes look up to a stained glass window where two young French people are reaching out to help him. The wall has a code poem engraved into a tablet, as well as the names of Resistance fighters, many of whom lost their lives during the war. 

A mass planting of perennials and annuals surrounds the sculpture as nature reclaims the abandoned church …

War and wildness conquer white and lilac blue at the Chelsea flower show
John Everiss’s memorial to his father recreates a bombed-out French church, as colour returns to the UK’s top gardening event …
  • Designed by
John Everiss

Built by

Andrew Loudon, John Everiss Design

Sponsored by

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Cakes in France in tiers

Often a bit of sobbing at weddings but this cake would certainly not have you in tears. Well done Glynis.
Comments to

All medieval at Najac

Tsedey from the Eleta gallery getting in to the spirit of the weekend.
Comments to

I could be out of step on this one!

Readers know my dislike of Depardieu, fine actor he may be, but the man gives me the shudders. I thought everyone would agree with me ( wrong again) In the media and on facebook he can be seen in pictures embracing the actress Isabelle Huppert and talking about his friend Poutine and Russia whilst at Cannes Most of the French are saying " we adore this man"  He is a national icon. Oh! spit, but I still cannot abide him.
Comments to

And now one from Malc

What a beautiful bird he is, this chap. Look at the fan of his tail feathers, we have the parents flashing past the window all the time, making us say " wow" look at that, constantly. That wall was clean a couple of weeks ago but now the youngsters are getting bigger they come to the opening and eject their poop.
Comments to

Giant Book Sale at Beauville

Giant Book Sale, Sunday at Beauville 47470 Salle des Fetes (by the garage before the water tower on Bourg de Visa road 
- Over 12,000 books - fiction / hardback / reference / hobbies / classics .... mostly English, but also French ones too !
- DVDs, CDs, Puzzles and a large selection of good condition clothes (ones that haven't yet been in the Boutique ! ).
- Also a few larger items we have had for the charity - guitars, telescope, nearly new lawnmower, golf clubs, etc.
- Plenty of refreshments - tea and cakes
- Open from 10am - 4pm
- A great chance to find out what Bon Coeur has been supporting - over €10,000 raised and handed out to local good causes, both human and animal.   Cancer Support France and Poor Paws will be at the event so you can meet them too !
Why not pass on this email and bring a friend too ?
Beauville Boutique hours in summer:  Tues, Wed, Fri - 2 - 4pm,  Fri, Sun 10 am - Noon.  
If coming a long way or if bringing a large donation - do contact us first.
NOTE - If you plan to have a charity fund raising event - we may be able to help out as we will probably have some books left afterwards !
Charles Miskin
Fr Mobile        0689 532478 
Fr fixed           0553 687742
Or UK mobile 00 44 7768 618363

and this is how Peter got those super kestrel pictures

Expertise, good equipment and patience. Peter sat for 2 hours to get the shots, but I think it was worth it.
Comments to

Eiffel Tower strike

Staff at the Paris landmark went on strike because they were fed up with being hassled by pickpockets. The iconic attraction, in common with other Paris sites, is not just a magnet for tourists but also for pickpockets and conmen. Now staff there followed similar action at the Louvre by closing the tower until management took measures to improve safety.
Paris police have produced a leaflet giving tourists advice on staying safe in Paris, especially aimed at Asian tourists who are more likely to have cash rather than the credit cards westerners prefer.
comments to

Some big doggie bags

Did you know it was illegal for restaurants to let you take left-overs home for the dog? It's in case you eat it yourself and sue the chef if you are ill. Of course many restaurants just ignore that and hand over a tin foil package.
Now in a new raft of measures aimed at reducing food waste, the government will allow food to be taken away rather than binned. Rather more significant will be the requirement for supermarkets over 400 m2 to arrange contracts with charities or composting bodies to take their waste food. Many of us are too fastidious with sell or use by dates and cause supermarkets to throw away tons of food which can be completely edible.
Yet that only amounts to 5% of the total food waste, the biggest culprits being us at home. Here at Mas del Sol lots of our waste is eaten by dogs and donkeys or goes into the compost bin. But we could make more effort - do readers have any "good practice" ideas they can pass on?
comments to

Ingrid Bergman features on the 2015 Cannes Festival poster

The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival is currently being held from 13 to 24 May 2015. Joel and Ethan Coen have been announced as the Presidents of the Jury for the main competition. It is the first time that two people will chair the jury. Since the Coen brothers will each get a separate vote, they will be joined by seven other jurors to form the customary nine-juror panel. French actor Lambert Wilson has been announced as the host for the opening and closing ceremonies.
I have given the link to a wikipedia site which I found better than the official site.

At Cannes there seems to be "a tapis rouge sexy"

This year at at Cannes the red carpets have seen celebrities baring their all to catch our attention. 
Well I hope it is warmer on the Med. than in Midi Pyrenees else they will catch their death of cold.This lady exposing all her lower limbs as well as her chest is called Martika
Comments to 

Nous sommes samedi, le vingt trois mai

Sunny morning again but still a bit chilly. We certainly have not being using the pool in the last few days. We have however been kestrel watching, a pleasure at this time of the year.
Comments to

Friday, 22 May 2015

Our kestrels but Peter Hughes is the photographer

Hi Val & Malc

Here is a selection of today’s kestrel photos. You can clearly see that a chick is swallowing a mouse whole! It is interesting that only the male visited the nest whilst I was there. Perhaps the female is more nervous or does the male do most of the feeding?

Thank you for the opportunity to visit such a special nest!

Val says normally it is the female who feeds so I imagine she was more scared of the newly placed hide.

Curry nights are back

Dear Val

Curry nights are back.  Emma is back from the snow and Glynis is rolling her sleeves up.  We have lost count of the number of people who have asked us when the curry nights are starting again, so here is a list of dates for the summer.  Really hope you can make one , some or all of them!  They will all be held in Glynis’ lovely barn in Septfonds and each menu will be slightly different but always offering:

Curry Night Menu at €29 per person

-          Aperitif, nibbles and popadums
-          Starter
-          Two meat/fish main dishes (or vegetarian on request)
-          Two vegetable side dishes
-          Rice and flat breads
-          Dessert
-          Tea, coffee and chocolates
-          Wine and beer

Summer Curry Nights – Dates

Saturday 30th May
Saturday 11th July
Saturday 1st August (Caribbean Curry night)
Saturday 5th September

We are taking bookings from NOW so email us to book a place.

Really looking forward to seeing you again soon. 

Lots of love
Emma & Glynis

Sense at last

France’s parliament has pledged to crack down on a national epidemic of food waste by passing a law banning supermarkets destroying unsold food, instead obliging them to give it to charities or put it to other uses such as animal feed.
The national assembly voted unanimously on Thursday evening in favour of the measure, proposed by the Socialist deputy Guillaume Garot, a former food minister. “It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods,” he said.     Comments to

Fete de la Nature

The many manifestations of this weekend of Pentecost (Whitsuntide) include a celebration of nature, with events under this heading throughout our area. Bird watching at the lake du Gouyre, Vaissac (82), watch the film "Le Grand Duc", about the biggest of the owls, perched in a tree at Labastide Murat (46), observe the vultures at Pailhas (12). A simple walk in the country to find orchids, or see baby kestrels at Mas del Sol can be just as rewarding.
comments to

It should never happen but it does

We have heard of it happening in the UK and it happens in France. Care home carers being cruel or unkind to residents. Yesterday at Toulouse a 60 year old worker was in court for habitual violence against a 73 year old handicapped lady, and it was caught on camera.

More charging points in Tarn

The use of electric cars is restricted by the need to recharge the batteries frequently, meaning often just local trips. The Tarn department is to install between 60 and 120 extra "bornes de recharge" during the next few months. No final decision has been taken re the exact emplacements nor suppliers, as officials want to coordinate with adjoining departments.
comments to

It pays to be faithful

Supermarkets, hairdresser, airlines: all ask for your "carte de fidelité" (loyalty card) because not only they know more about you, but to keep you coming back because you make savings. Makes sense, so thought the drug dealers in the Val-plan quarter of Marseille. Buy 10 cannabis roll-ups and get one free. Bring your card to be stamped. Other inducements include a free lighter (briquet) for 20 euros spent, 6 cigarettes for 30 euros spent.
Police say they have no evidence of these marketing methods having not found such a card on arrested people or in searches of premises.
comments to

Septfonds 1911

La Septfontoise band photographed in1911 in Septfonds
Does anyone else look at photos like this and wonder how many of those younger faces where later killed in the first world war?
Comments to

Nous sommes vendredi, le vingt deux mai

Sun this morning  but a cold wind from the west, and how many of you lit the wood burner last night?
The forecast for the weekend is a sunny 22 degrees, good gardening temperature.
Comments to

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Rehoming animals in Midi Pyrenees on facebook

The idea is to make the site interesting to anyone who cares for animals, so as well as listing animals that need homes, there will be animal stories and pictures. I can guarantee it will not be boring and we WILL rehome pets.
Rehoming animals in Midi Pyrenees
Comments to

Electro Depanage

Hi Val,

I've got a dishwasher, microwave and cooker all of which need fixing, but the guy everyone recommends (mentioning no names) is showing no signs of doing the work any time soon and it's getting urgent.  Does anyone know of any alternatives near St Antonin?
Peter Quaife
Comments to

Coming up at Najac

Les Médiévales de Najac : 23 - 24 -25 mai

Festival Médiéval de Najac 

Ce week-end, venez plonger dans l'ambiance du Moyen-âge au cœur de l'un des plus beaux village de France :

  • Animations et combats médiévaux à la forteresse avec les Bécuts de Gascogne : tournois tirs à l'arc, l'arme d'hast, épée et bouclier ... 
  • Dans le village : marché  et animations médiévales, concerts, musique et chants, Fauconnerie et rapaces
  • Terrain de sport des hauts de Najac : spectacle de chevalerie et tournoi équestre (15h et21h30)

Barney and Harry are still on the run/ the dogs are back

Hi Val,
Just to let you know that still no sign of Barney and Harry, pretty concerned now and going to put posters up today and hope somebody has spotted them. Will send more photos and greatly appreciate if you can put it on tag again.

  Hi Val,
Great news, they have both just returned, all ok, phew! And thanks everyone for all your support. A much relieved Tippett Family X
Terry x

Rehoming animals in Midi Pyrenees

I have just created a new site on facebook called " Rehoming animals in Midi Pyrenees."
The problem highlighted by the two cats needing new homes and having few options has pushed me into doing this. Also I do not want to flood TAG with animals and animal stories, so this seems like a good option.
All animals will need to be chipped with number displayed and vaccinated to be advertised. If you like animals and animal stories you may like to join the site and keep abreast of what is happening. The site is a public one so anyone of us can look and post if you are for whatever reason REHOMING a pet.
I want the site not to be a boring list to encourage people to look, so I will post the odd animal story and hope readers will do like wise.
Comments to

Blue flag beaches.. Tarn and Garonne! Midi Pyrenees has no sea front, but has three blue flag beaches. The system recognised throughout Europe to mark beaches with excellent water quality has been awarded to two sites in Tarn and Garonne.
Lakes at Monclar de Quercy
The lake (plan d'eau) at Molieres, just north of Montauban has a beach and communal leisure centre which can plant the blue flag in its white sandy beach. And the three lakes at Monclar de Quercy are also recognised as of exceptional quality.
So no need to go to the Med or Atlantic coast for quality beaches - just no sea air to blow away the cobwebs.
comments to

Down at heel in Cannes

The last thing you expect at the Cannes Film Festival would be a row about high heels. But it is apparently a stipulation for guests mounting the famous red carpet that suitable footwear be worn, including high heels for women.
A security guard charged with policing the steps has been refusing entry to some women because their heels were not high enough. After protests the organisers at first denied any problem, then admitted that the guards had been "over zealous". Actress Emily Blunt sighed "and we thought there had been progress on equality".
comments to

Cross those fingers for St. Antonin

Maybe they run in families: leaders

Our granddaughter thought this reminded her of her younger sister with friends.
I looked and sadly could see myself and Malc!
The only thing I can say is Malc loves it!!
Comments to

Car for sale

A  better photo
Kia Sportage 4x4 2L petrol, 2003 reg, 58000 mileage. Control technique until April 2016, has LHD lights and service history 2950 euros ono
Beryl Spokes

Nous sommes jeudi, le vingt et un

A reader has informed me that the dog pound at Cahors gives cats and kittens puced and castrated away to good homes for free, and cats in need of homes can be found at SPA  refuges, there is one at Montauban.
 I will find out more about this.
On TAG now I must remember to only advertise pets that are identified,with the number it costs about 50 euros generally I think to have this done at the vet.
Comments to

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Nicaragua comes to Varen

A  troupe of theatrical performing youngsters had promised a couple in Varen if they came touring in France they would look them up and two years on they did. To the delight of a crowd of French, English and Dutch children and adults we applauded and laughed with the spirited performance of acting and juggling.
Comments to

Somewhere over the rainbow

Hi Val
Just seen a beautiful rainbow over Verfeil during the evening showers. At times a second fainter rainbow was visible outside the main one but this may not show on Tag.
Val says-  great that Peter is now back in the photographers world after Oscar his dog pulled his camera off a table with the strap. Lovely picture and proves the camera has been successfully repaired.

The old man died

A Frenchman age 84 had a collision with a English couple in a Range Rover. The  Frenchman died, the English couple had light injuries. Initial investigations by the gendarmes do not show alchohol or speed were the cause. This happened in the department of Lot et Garonne
14e décès sur les routes du Lot-et-Garonne : une Gersoise est morte sur le coup dans un choc frontal
En savoir plus sur


H ello everyone, me I am Diego, a braque d' auvergne, two and a half years old. I get on with other dogs male and female, with children, I do not know cats. I love walks, am good in the car, love cuddles but do not like kennels. I am puced

Bonjour tout le monde, moi cest Diego, Braque dAuvergne de 2 ans et demi !
Je mentends très bien avec mes congéres (mâles et femelles), avec les enfants mais je ne connais pas les chats !
Jaime les balades, la voiture et les câlins mais pas les chenils !!
Je suis pucé !
Si vous voulez me rencontrer, téphonez au 06 77 35 28 30.

                                (participation financière demandée pour la puce)

Renault Clio 2000 for sale

For sale: Renault Clio 2000. 5 doors, diesel, 250,000 km, new tyres, new battery, contrôle technique to September 2016. These cars are selling on Leboncoin for around 1000€ to 1500€. Mine needs some attention to brakes, and starter motor.  It's been a fantastic reliable tough little car. Offers around 700€.   Please contact, or on 05 63 26 45 57.

Terry has lost her dogs

Terry Tippett has lost her two dogs today. Although they always stay nearby today they both fancied a bit of excitement and went off.  Terri who is really worried not at all excited asks us to keep an eye open for them.  The larger one in the photo and a much smaller one. Terri as you know from Fleurs de Terri lives at Cornerave Parisot  tel 0563242146 or  0602226459
Comments to

Martin' s Jazz Band coming to Mas del Sol

Wednesday 22nd of July, we are welcoming Martin's Jazz Band for an evening with picnics in the park. It is all fixed up, the plan is to have a super evening like last year and raise money for children in Africa. Gates open at 6pm, band starts at 8.30 pm
Swinging in to the late evening.
Start to book your tickets now.
Contact  swingers

Pierre Soulages, the most visited in Midi Pyrenees

The most visited museum and gallery in Midi Pyrenees and the third outside Paris.
Comments to

It is hard saying good bye.

Hi Val
Thank you both so very much, yesterday was a most distressing day for me and today doesn't seem much better.  Everywhere I look I see the antics of my cats, they gave so much pleasure and love, they are totally irreplaceable.
I am so glad you sent detail of their new home and will treasure all the photos we took throughout their growing, it sounds ideal and I'm sure they will soon find their feet and will enjoy exploring the area.
Take care.
Love from Sheila and Philip Harris

Val says I explained to Sheila that I would be happy if my cats in a similar situation ended up with Danielle. So hopefully now Sheila and Philip can return back to the UK and hold on to their happy memories of the cats.
Bon voyage et bonne chance.

You have got to love them

The face of someone who has just buried his first bone!
Malc says let's hope he remembers where he has buried it.
No, it is not a pet that needs rehoming it is from a site called " a daily dose of cute"
Comments to

Shuttle boats to the rugby

Toulouse transport chiefs and partners are to introduce shuttles on the canals and rivers of the city on match days to the Stade Toulousain ground from August in a test. The aim is to show visitors to the rugby another image of the city. There will be a floating market on 20th June on the banks of the Garonne, when boats will also be tested on the route to the football stadium (which is actually on an island). The stadium will be used in the Euro 2016 football tournament next summer.
To further make use of the city's waterways there will be barges used to move rubbish from recycling centres and dechetteries, reducing the number of lorries on the roads in north Toulouse.
comments to

Tax returns, last day for paper

IF YOU have a French income declaration to make and plan to do it on the paper forms you have just a few hours left to do so. If you are sending your declaration today you either need to make sure you put it in a post box before the day’s last collection or hand it in to a post office directly. 
Finally, if you miss that, you could put it in your tax office’s letterbox by hand before midnight tonight. 
If you declare later you risk paying more, due to penalty fees. 
The alternative is to declare online, with the closing dates depending on which department you live in: 
• 1-19: until Tuesday May 26 
• 20-49: until Tuesday June 2
• 50+: until Tuesday June 9 
Last year 36% of households, around 13million, declared online. - See more at:
Comments to

Castelnau Montratier

After leaving the cats yesterday we went for a late lunch in the nearby pretty village.The church dome was lit by the sun. Has anyone information on the church, it looked interesting. Lunch was really good and it was warm enough to sit outside with the dogs under the table.
Comments to

What is going to happen to all the would be migrants?

UPDATED: French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday there was "no question" of introducing a migrant quota system in Europe, as proposed by the European Commission.

Hold up in gun shop

Two men in Carmaux went to buy a hunting rifle and then pulled out a gun of their own and tried to make off with the gun they were examining. The shop owner used a tear gas canister to ward them off and they fled. Coming across a police control they opened fire and stole one of the officer's guns. Stealing a car they then made off. Police in the Carmaux area are "actively seeking two men".

Let's hope that these two are as stupid as the two who robbed the van of a "banda" (marching band) in Figeac. These two posed for selfies with the stolen musical instruments which they posted via Snapchat. The band had appealed on social media for anyone to look out for dubious offers of musical instruments and an eagle eyed internaut spotted them and informed the gendarmes. They were traced and arrested.
comments to

A man and his pet in Laguepie yesterday

I wonder what the pair were drinking in the Troubador yesterday?
Photo by Bertrand Dezes
Comments to

Nous sommes mercredi, le vingt mai

How beautiful the Lot is. Driving through the countryside between Montpezat de Quercy et Castelnau Montratier, we commented as always how beautiful the area is. Both the mentioned villages are charming, I think it is only the second time or third time we have passed through them.
Comments to

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Dear donkey friends

Hi Val and readers
Thank you all for responding so quickly to help us choose the date for our next fundraising lunch, this will be held on wednesday 10th June. Hopefully those of you who cant make that day will join us next time.

This is our exciting menu.  We just need to know your choice of soup to start and whether you will want the vegetarian option. We will make plenty of desserts for you to choose from on the day.  Should you have a strong preference for a particular dessert please let us know.  We start at 1.oclock and will now be asking for 17 euros a head for as much as you can eat and drink. We have been putting off a price increase but with the cost of food escalating we have had to bring this into effect now.

Welcome dips with your Aperitif

Asparagus or Roased Pepper and Tomato Soup ..... both chilled

Pork Ribs with Kansas City Barbeque Sauce, or
Vegetarian Tex Mex Tamale Pie
both served with a selection of American Salads

Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Chocolate Charlotte Malakoff (with cointreau)
Abricot Tart
Pecan Pie

Oh, I'm feeling hungry now !

Thank you all for the support you give us.

I look forward to hearing from you to reserve your place, please e mail again even if you have already confirmed the date you could come.

A Nicaraguan circus in downtown Varen

Hi Val
did you know that there’s a Nicaraguan circus
spectacular in the marketplace at Varen tomorrow (mercredi 20 mai) at 18.00?
La troupe va passer un tour de chapeau, pour "la Escuela de Comedia y Mimo"
in Granada, Nicaragua.
See you all there
Comments to

Carcassonne festival

Hi Val

Gentle reminder for Tagliners: tickets going fast
Gaynor Stuart Smith

Mission accomplished on the cat front.

What a day of highs and lows. We were at the Harris's near Caylus at the appointed time to pick up the cats. Mr Harris has suffered a very severe stroke which amongst other things means he has lost most of his sight. Mrs Harris insisted she carried the two cat boxes to the car and loaded them, she said it was the last thing she could do for her beloved cats. She turned and walked sobbing back to the house. Malc and I drove off both with tears in our eyes.
We arrived at refuge of Danielle Diczi, a Swiss lady who has lived near Castelnau Montratier since about 2002. She runs a refuge "association la mère aux bètes" 
First things first we unloaded Molly and Spider and took them to their new home, a very large cage, half in hut , half in the fresh air, loads of scratching pads and boxes and surprisingly the cats came out of their cat boxes and immediately began to explore. We left them looking happy and went off to discuss their future. Danielle proposed as they were seven and should be kept together, she would like to keep them. 
In a week when they are used to their surroundings she will let them out and they can stay in house or barn or any of the empty niches. With 5 hectares miles away from anywhere to roam we felt this was a lovely option for them and agreed we thought the Harris's would be pleased with that choice. Danielle had been deeply moved by the unfolding events and like Malc and I felt something needed to be done to help. Before she started work with animals Danielle worked in Far East doing humanitarian work (so that is perhaps why she showed such empathy)
Sadly we were so busy asking questions and looking around we did not even think to take pictures.
We do know she has some beautiful kittens and their young mother, just come in and if you were interested the cost would only be to cover chipping and vaccinations and if you wanted to give a small donation that would gratefully be received.
We also noticed two beautiful chocolate labradors who have also just arrived. A complicated history but these dogs which had they been sold would have been worth well over 1,000 euros each, as pedigrees. They will be found homes chipped and vaccinated but the new owners will not receive the pedigree papers so they cannot be sold on.
So is this Swiss French speaking women accredited in anyway?
The refuge is accredited by the SPA, Society for protection of animals. 
I asked her how she started with the refuge and she explained as an Inspector for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation she was forever seeing pitiful cases which she then took in to rehome and re educate and it then grew and grew.
We were a bit disturbed by a beautiful white dog, not sure of the race / breed which kept barking, making her jump up, shout arrete and then put a light sprinkling of water  from a hose onto it.
We must have looked horrified as she explained the dog had been abandoned as the owners could not stand it constantly barking. She needed to stop it barking  before it could be offered for adoption.
Another story we liked was, by the house was a huge cage filled with pigeons. These she explained were from a Buddhist retreat in the Dordogne and in a weeks time she will let them out to roost in a nearby tree where she will feed them.
Ann Grose will be interested in her reaction to vaccinations. She agreed totally with everything Anne stated in her mail here on TAG and also said in her professional role she had seen so many animals being poisoned  by the over use of vaccines, she felt it was positively  criminal. 
For a cat entering a cat refuge it was a different matter.
A  little dog whilst we were talking had made friends with Malc and Danielle explained it had been taken because of cruel treatment from some gypsies. Malc wanted to bring it home, but Danielle said why not take a  few! which did make Malc change his tune.
So if you need a cat or dog think about phoning Danielle  0565219450  or look up the website Assoc. la mère aux bètes, or email
 We were suprised that it only took an hour from Caylus, we had thought it a longer run. We will certainly be supporting Danielle after this.
Comments to

Watch out for Daisy, please

Hello Val
If you could post this on Taglines for me I'd be very grateful.
Best wishes
Sue Bargery
During the total destruction by fire of our house last Friday, 15 May, our cat Daisy disappeared.  If anyone sees her please please email me ring 44 7594413892 or (friends' phone) 05 63 31 56 85.

Unattended bags may be destroyed

And it really happened in the Cathedrale St Sernin in Toulouse this weekend. Bomb squad were called in after the church had been evacuated when two suspicious rucksacks were found by the door.
Police carried out a controlled explosion on one of the bags before discovering that they had been forgotten by pupils from a local lycee.
Good excuse for having no homework: "the bomb squad blew it up".
comments to

A troupeau of 2 CVs

A troupeau not of sheep but of 2 CV's in the valley of the Bonnette in the Aveyron yesterday.
A troupeau d'une trentaine de deudeuches.
Comments to

The Drug Boat

We have reported before about the troubles faced by SNCM - the ferry operator between Marseille and Corsica. Plagued by industrial disputes, facing bankruptcy and looking for a suitable buyer the last thing it needs is a smuggling charge.
Naturally a ferry could be used to move drugs into Marseille or Corsica, but this case involves the boat's crew.  Eight sailors are under investigation for allowing criminals to use their cabins to move all types of drugs, including cocaine and cannabis, between the ports and their knowledge of customs systems to avoid the douanes.
More sinister is the mafia style traffic in arms, including Kalashnikov rifles. Sailors also enabled certain "types du milieu" to travel between the ports without the knowledge of the authorities. The man suspected of organising the activities recruited colleagues he knew to need the money to take part. Camille Abboche was jailed 2 years ago. His lawyer said he wasn't "a hooligan in the strict sense of the word", but was fascinated by those gangster types with their pockets stuffed with cash.
comments to

Transhumance on Quercy

The programme if you want to follow the sheep as they go to summer on the heights.

 A strange fètes following the sheep, when we first came here we often got stuck behind a shepherd moving sheep from barn to field. A very charming sight but you do not have to be in a rush for an appointment. Hundreds of people follow the transhumance of sheep and cows at this time of the year, ending usually with an organised picnic.

Le programme, étape par étape

Dimanche 24 mai, Espédaillac : nombreuses animations, balades guidées, groupe folklorique, présentation des races ovines, restauration sur place, dégustation de l'agneau fermier du Quercy.
Départ de la transhumance à 17 heures, pour 9 km.
Espagnac-Sainte-Eulalie, arrivée à 20 heures, repas et repos. Départ, le lundi 25 mai, à 9 heures, 9 km, jusqu'à Boussac, arrivée à 13 heures.
Soirée animée, apéritif et grillades d'agneau. Nuit sur place.
Mardi 26 mai, départ à 14 heures, une étape de 10 km jusqu'à Lissac-et-Mouret, arrivée vers 17 heures.
Repas organisé par l'APE de Lissac, avec démonstration de tonte de mouton.
Nuit sur place, départ le mercredi 27 mai, à 10 heures, pour 13 km jusqu'à Saint-Jean-Mirabel. Traversée de Figeac, avec halte le midi sur la prairie des Pratges, animation et restauration avec les producteurs locaux.
À Saint-Jean Mirabel, apéritif offert et repas sur place avec animations.
Le jeudi 28 mai, 1re journée de repos du troupeau.
Vendredi 29 mai, départ à 9 h 30 pour Montmurat, dans le Cantal.
Une dizaine d'étapes restent à parcourir.
Une navette ramène les marcheurs conducteurs des voitures au parking du départ, pour 3 €, inscription sur place au départ des étapes

The paving nearly finished in Albi, all done by the 29th

La place Ste-Cécile retrouve ses pavés et ses touristes