Friday, 27 November 2015

Bienvenue à marché de Toulouse

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Why is there always one ignorant baboon who lets the side down?

Not long back from the meeting at Rehoboth with the residents of the plateau up on the Bosc meeting Veronique  directrice from the Prefecture.
What a lady she is,one to be reckoned with, a big and responsible job she has, she was accompanied by her adjutant and the meeting was hosted by Florence.
A generally calm meeting with some concern about the refugiés being young men, why no families was asked? The answer that women and children are now starting to be welcomed in "centres d'accueil" in Calais whereas the young and middle aged men are left to fend for themselves.
Questions about what they would do all day? Answered by Veronique with, " there are 3 paid animatrices" to give ideas to entertain and 100 benevoles all ready to welcome them and find things of interest for them.
There was some laughter when a chasseur wanted to make sure the refugiés knew about the chasse and would not panic if they saw men walking round with rifles. A good point I thought... and I could also do with some reassurance about chasseurs!
The two gendarmes who had come were very helpful and made it clear to one lady that she could not just phone up if she saw a refugié wandering the lanes. If there was any concern about them contact the centre. If they were actually committing a crime as with any other citizen the gendarmes could then be called.
As the meeting finished I asked if anyone had a bike they could donate it would be appreciated, which elicited a smile from Florence.

The French were all polite and enquiring but Laura and I both looked on in embarrassment as a red faced Englishman sat looking at Veronique making gestures with his hands and fingers indicating she was all talk. Laura did suggest to me he may have a heart attack before the end of the meeting saving us more embarrassment.
One lovely moment when I met Cecile Ordanoff, she introduced herself and I said "I know the name"
She then said " Fanfaron" I jumped on her with bisous, she is the lady who looked after Fanfaron for a year till we found a new owner.
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Via Sahel: mission to Mali

Mission to Mali
You will have read in Taglines that Jean Marie Nosal, honorary president of Via Sahel Enfants d’Afrique, a children’s charity which many of you have helped us to support over recent years, has made a trip to Mali to check on the projects there.

His report (in French) is available and we will email a copy to you if you wish.
Here is a brief synopsis in English:

1 The new school building planned to start in 2015 has been postponed until next year as not enough funding is in place. Some new partners there have been sought and will be assisting with the planning for the building. A contribution to feeding the children in 2016 was paid over.
2 The transfer of handicapped children to more suitable premises has not been possible, largely because the people responsible had been transferred to other duties and new personnel were unfamiliar with the case and it proved necessary to re-establish the dossiers.
3 The nursery in Bamako is under severe financial strain, partly due to the policy of not allowing adoption outside Mali. The loss of tourist income is also an important factor. The Association paid over 4000 euros as a contribution to food and nursery staff wages. It is hoped to find commercial partners to provide food products, especially baby food.
4 No visit was possible for security reasons to Sangha in the north of the country, where the hospital, maternity clinic and laboratory, all supported by Via Sahel are situated. Reports were received from staff concerned: the maternity clinic treats about 400 mothers each year; the hospital is run by a local doctor/surgeon with help from trainee medical students and stagiaires. Prolonged rain had led to increased cases of malaria and demands on the laboratory for tests and transfusions had been urgent. The central transfusion authority in Bamako was asked to increase supplies.
5 A payment of 4000 euros to feed the street children of Mopti was made as each year, but increasing numbers may make this insufficient.

6 The women’s garden set up with funding from the Association (and contributions from many Tag readers) has been a great success and so many women are now taking part that a second garden is planned. The Association will again try to aid funding and made a contribution of 2000 euros.

In conclusion
M Nosal noted that although Bamako was livelier than his previous visit the people seemed poorer and moral was low with little enterprise or dynamism. He was presented with the title of « Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mali à titre étranger » an honour from the President of Mali and presented by the first lady in recognition of the work done by the Association over many years.

post script: the hotel shootings and hostage taking on the day of Jean Marie's return will only make things more difficult to keep up the association's work he believes.

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Christmas shopping in Toulouse

Easy jet opening 6 more routes from Toulouse next year in the summer

La compagnie low cost britannique a annoncé qu'elle allait ouvrir six nouvelles destinations au départ de Toulouse.
à partir de l'été 2016, seront ainsi desservies Berlin, Dubrovnik, Faro au Portugal, Milan, Mahon (Minorque aux Baléares), Olbia en Sardaigne. Ces nouvelles destinations portent à 25 le nombre de villes desservies depuis Toulouse-Blagnac par Easyjet.   comments to

Just two euros is all I ask

Whilst out at Laguepie walking the dogs and shopping I gathered in a goodly sum. Everyone I met I told about the refugiés coming and then said " 2 euros will buy a pair of socks" nobody refused and the vet gave me 5 euros to buy 2 pairs. It made me think we could soon clock up a fair sum, 2 euros is affordable. So if you see me coming get out your 2 euros at the ready (or your socks). I am even taking  the packet of socks with me to show the quality. Tonight the Mayor, the gendarmes,the directrice Veronique from the Prefecture are all going to Rehoboth to have a meeting with nearby neighbours. I am taking my pot and the socks and I will be asking everyone there for a contribution, Mayor and gendarmes.

Malc says " is begging legal" he does not want me to be arrested!
Val says  can you get wifi in a prison cell?
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Resi alters the address

Chèr(e)s ami(e)s,
Dans le mail que j'ai vous envoyé le 25 novembre il y était une erreur concernant l'adresse du magasin en ligne.
L'adresse juste du magasin est:
(dans l'invitation qui était ajouté l'adresse du magasin est correcte).
Je m'excuse pour cet omission.
Bien cordialement,
Resi van Eeten
St. Grat
12200 Vailhourles
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The walk against climate change is going ahead in Villefranche

A diffuser le plus largement possible…
N’oubliez pas que le seul RV autorisé par le préfet est : 12 h 30 – Pique-nique géant à la Halle.
Si malgré tout, vous souhaitez, comme nous, vous rassembler à la gare à 12 h, vous risquez de vous voir opposer les forces de l’ordre !
Et si vous voulez marcher… Il est sans doute plus prudent de marcher sur les trottoirs !
A vous de voir…
A dimanche, les organisateurs

Val says .. these walks had been planned for some time but now because of security risks, certainly the one in Toulouse has been banned. I really support action against climate change but hearing what the forces of order are like here in France, I won't be going... if you do bon chance.
I think for non French speakers Sunday meeting at the station, then having an auberge espagnol in the halle to support climate change is admiral. It then says you risk being opposed by the gendarmes. If you do the walk make sure you walk on the pavements/ trottoirs.
There is another side to these walks which if it has been requested  they do not to go ahead for security reasons,  my reasoning would be organise at another time, the gendarmes have their hands full at the moment. 
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The next book swap will be Monday 7th of December

At the book swap Karen and Chris will be there with  good quality Christmas cards for sale. I will be collecting socks or money for socks and there will be a mass of books and DVD's. There will also be a festive Christmas atmosphere.
Christmas comes but once a year and when it comes it brings good cheer.
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Liberte des anes, another monthly fundraiser

Dear donkey friends

We have a super meal organised for you this month on Thursday December 10th here at Lavolvene, 82150 Belveze. (0563943847 or 0643530452).
After your aperitif, served in the shop in the barn, we will serve you with ...
 Local tomato soup with garlic and herb croutons, or
Parsley, leak and lemon soup with cheese flavoured croutons.
followed by

Pork and mushroom casserole, or
Cheese topped fish pie
both served with vegetable crumble
followed by deserts to fill you with pleasure !
We start at 1 oclock, we ask 17 euros a head for as much as you can eat and drink, you know all our food is delicious and homemade.
Please come along to this early Christmas lunch, I just need your confirmation and choice of soup and main course please as soon as possible.
Thanks so much for supporting us, all proceeds go to the donkeys who have been seeing the vet rather a lot lately for their annual vaccinations and dentistry work.  This keeps them all healthy but i doubt they realise how important these vet visits are !!

And here it is on TAG

Clive Francis in a Christmas Carol

Give them their daily bread

Rosieres, a village near Carmaux lost its boulangerie some years ago so a trip for the daily bread was quite a trek. Now a local boulanger has installed a dispensing machine on communal land in the village centre.
At a cost of 13000 euros the boulanger hopes to recoup his outlay in a reasonable time, but with sales of 40 baguettes per day, at 1 euro each it will take most of a year to break even, even longer to actually be in profit. That's a lot of bread.
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A picture of a distraught father that went around the world

A good story this morning where this man and his family are now safely resettled in Berlin. There are still terrible stories but how great it is to hear of successes.
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A Christmas Carol on Wednesday 16th Dec

Dear Friends of English Theatre
Tickets are selling well for our end-of-season show, A Christmas Carol, on Wednesday 16th December. So don't delay, please book your seats now for this perennially entertaining and heart-warming Charles Dickens classic.

To reserve your tickets, please email
Members € 15 Non-Members € 20
The show starts at 7pm but join us in the bar from 6pm onwards for Christmas drinks and nibbles.

And after the show, why not join actor Clive Francis and the FET team for dinner at Le Petit Resto?

We are pleased to announce that the restaurant will offer a vegetarian option in addition to the main menu, as follows :

Cassolette de poisson & fruits de mer  
(sea-food cassolette)
Rôti de veau aux marrons, Frites maison 
(roast veal with chestnuts, and home-made "French Fries")
Rose feuilletée aux pommes 
(a delicious apple dessert)

Veggie menu:
Salade Composée (mixed salad)
Terrine de Légumes (vegetable terrine)
Rose Feuilletée aux Pommes (a delicious apple dessert)
The price is € 22 a head including wine.

Please contact the restaurant as soon as possible (before December 10th) as the 50 seats will fill up very quickly. When booking, please specify which menu you would like.

Le Petit Café
23 Promenade de l'Autan, Les Cabannes

N.B. To book, you must contact the restaurant directly, FET cannot make the booking for you.

Julie Pearson FET Bookings and Membership Secretary

Sales of the tricolour rise

As France prepares for a day of national mourning and remembrance for the 130 people killed in the Paris terrorist attacks, sales of the national tricolour flag are on the rise.
Shunned as a symbol of nationalism or the far-right for decades, the French flag has made a comeback as a symbol of peace and defiance after gunmen and suicide bombers attacked bars, restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and the Stade de France stadium on 13 November.
François Hollande will lead a ceremony on Friday commemorating the victims of France’s worst-ever terror attacks. While relatives and survivors gather to hear his address at Les Invalides complex that houses a military museum and Napoleon’s tomb, the president has urged the rest of the country to hang flags from their windows in support.

Free parking in Toulouse tomorrow

If you are shopping in Toulouse tomorrow you can get free parking in the centre of town. By asking at a number of shops they will give a 10 euro token to cover parking costs. Encouraging you into the town to do your Christmas shopping is important to them. Presumably it is the city council who is paying as they had promised to recompense " commercants" after trouble in February, where they lost business.

Les commerçants et artisans bénéficiant de ce dispositif sont installés dans un périmètre délimité par les boulevards Armand Duportal, de Lascrosses, d'Arcole, de Strasbourg, Lazare Carnot, des allées François Verdier et Jules Guesde, des quais de Tounis, de la Daurade et Lucien Lombard.Les 40 000 chèques parkings seront utilisables dans les parkings suivants : Carmes, Victor Hugo, Jean Jaurès, Saint-Etienne, Capitole, Jeanne d'Arc, Arnaud Bernard, Saint-Aubin, Europe, Saint-Michel, Esquirol, Carnot, Saint-Cyprien, Saint-Georges et Compans Caffarelli.
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I am morning person

Another cold frosty morning, but it looks so beautiful looking out. It is a fog in the lower valleys morning, but the sky is already blue tinged with red in the distance. The donkeys manes and ear tips are covered in frost, the poor darlings are crying for me, Bonny has gone out to play, Eldo is nursing his sore digging paw and the cats are licking theirs after their breakfast. Malc is searching out TAG stories, or is he pouring over last nights bridge results?
Best part of the day I always think.
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Nous sommes le vendredi vingt sept novembre

François Hollande the President of the Republic of France wants us to fly the French flag to show solidarity. Well we can do that, we have a French flag that we fly along with the Union Jack and the Occitane flag in the grange. I will fly it from a window this morning.
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Thursday, 26 November 2015

A real racist gets a prison sentence

A Belgian court has sentenced controversial French comedian Dieudonnéto two months in prison for incitement to hatred over alleged racist and anti-Semitic remarks he made during a show in Belgium.
Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, a regular in French courts over similar charges, was also fined €9,000 (£6,300) by the court in the eastern city of Liege over a show he gave there in 2012. He was not present for the verdict.
During the show before 1,000 people in Herstal, a Liege suburb and which was recorded by police, Dieudonné called Hitler a "sweet kid" and a "joyful braggart".
He also called into question the Nazi gas chambers and described the Talmud as a "s*** book".
Eric Lemmens, a lawyer for Belgium's Jewish organisations, said: "All the accusations against Dieudonné were established - both incitement to hatred and hate speech but also Holocaust denial.
"For me this is more than satisfying, this is a major victory," he added. The comedian was also ordered to publish the ruling in Belgium's two main national daily newspapers, Le Soir and La Libre Belgique.   Henry Samuel writing in the Telegraph

Well what a bloomer

We have arranged our opera night for Wed 16th Dec. and tonight someone reminded us it was the same night as FET, the Christmas show at Les Cabannes.
So we have decided to change the evening to Tuesday night 15th of Dec.  Hope this evening suits many of our regular opera goers.
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Why are the refugiés taking so long in coming

Apparently because of the terrorist attacks in Paris, the Calais jungle has been in virtual shut down and the buses that have been going to pick up the refugiés have not been allowed near the site.
Restrictions around that area are now getting easier and our guests will arrive within the next few days.
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Now this is a busy bee

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An interesting offer for art lovers

Dear Val,
I hope this finds you well despite this chilly weather!
Please see below a last minute reminded for all your readers, that tomorrow we have two more talks at Galerie Sépia, which include an artist talk with Patrick Bilheran.
If you could please post this on TAG on-line that would be wonderful.
With much thanks & best wishes,

French and English bilingual guided exhibition tours and artist talk
on Friday 27 November at 2:30 pm & 6:30 pm
Enjoy an English and French bilingual guided tour of Galerie Sépia's Christmas group exhibition - "cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles" - with artist Patrick Bilheran, arts writer and journalist Altair Roelants, and Galerie Sépia owner  Agathe  Thuillier.

Patrick, Altair and Agathe will guide you around the exhibition highlighting key pieces from each artist in the show, followed by a discussion with Patrick about his painting and drawing practice. The tour will be followed by audience questions with Patrick Bilheran and time to browse the exhibition.

The guided tour will run for approximately 60mins. No reservation required, so please feel free to come along! 

For more information, please contact:

Tel: 05 65 45 57 68 or visit the Galerie Sépia website:


Aw gawd, underpants.

Sitting having lunch in the Gazpacho before taking a bike up to Rehoboth, we suddenly whilst discussing socks... thought underpants! Well you and I know there is nothing worse than dirty knicks. Have the refugiés ( can I start using the French way refugiés/ refugees) had a change of underclothes I wonder whilst at  Calais?
Anyone know the best place for a bulk buy of underpants and ladies knickers? I am told the men prefer boxer shorts.
Ginny tells me on my facebook site:-
Apart from the fact that I thought these first ones were all young men, don't push too many western values on them. By all means expect them to change their clothes but not necessarily daily. After all neither our parents nor us  did when we were young.
Val says  ... but it is 60 or 70 years ago since we were young.
I have it on good authority from Calais and a camp near Bezier that the men jump on new boxer shorts when they have a chance and there are apparently some ladies coming
Two readers say  buy at Primani  and Leclerc eco range.
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Invitation from Resi

Resi Silver Art  Bijoux d’art 
               ”RESI-DENCE AMBERT”
                                 Saint Grat

         A le plaisir de vous convier à l’exposition :
        De la nouvelle collection “Silverart” de Resi

               Dimanche 6 decembre
               Dimanche 13 decembre
                  de 15h00- 19h00

Un verre de l’amitié sera offert à l’occasion de la mise en ligne du magasin sur le web.                                                                  

Resi van Eeten                                        
Galerie Residence Ambert            
St Grat 12200 Vailhourles
Tel: 05 6529 8752
Magasin en Ligne :

Sylvie Cosnier paints St. Antonin

Such a gentle style, I love her work. I have met her recently working to help get everything ready for refugees up at Rehoboth. She is a gentle lady.
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Travelling from Toulouse airport over Christmas

Dear Val

This will be important to readers picking up and dropping people off or using Toulouse airport over Christmas. It was sent to me by a friend who works for Airbus. Ginny

Enhanced Security Measures at Toulouse, Blagnac Airport

In light of the current state of emergency in France, enhanced security measures have been put in place at Toulouse, Blagnac Airport. These measures will have the following direct impact on passengers travelling to and from destinations outside of France.Border Control:
Border controls are restored for travellers arriving or departing French territory. All passengers are requested to arrive early at the airport and ensure they have a valid national identity card or passport with them. With international border control reinforced, waiting time may increase, therefore extra time should be allowed for going through to departures. Passengers should note that departures, for destinations outside of France, is only accessible via Hall D (gates 40 - 55) and no longer via Hall A, B or C.
Passenger set-down:
Passenger set-down on the departures viaduct is now limited to the zone in front of Hall B. Passengers are asked to use the Express Car Parks instead; Arrêt Minute and P0.
Access to this area for buses and minibuses/shuttles is now prohibited, set-down for passengers will be in front of arrivals Hall D. Taxi access to the departures viaduct is also prohibited. Taxi set-down will be in the Express Car Parks.
Waiting time is now limited to 30 minutes for buses, minibuses/shuttles and taxis.


Good morning,
Friend Virginie is having a sort of Vide Maison / Sale of Articles on Saturday 28th andSunday 29th November – this weekend in fact.  Those of you who know Virginie will know that she has great Shabby Chic / French Country taste and is great at doing ‘down’, ie., distressing furniture.  She will be selling the contents of her gite and will have pieces of furniture to sell as well as linens and other of her creations.
Even if you need nothing for your house you may pick up some Christmas presents.
The location is Lieu dit Hautefage, 46800 Belmontet.  From Montcuq you take the road to Belmontet (which goes up by the tennis courts), drive up through Belmontet towards St. Matre.  A short distance before St. Matre you will see a lane on your right with two huge boulders with Hautefage marked on them.  Coming down from St. Matre, obviously it is on your left.
Well worth a visit from 9 to 12 and 2 to 6.
Sue   Poorpaws   Comments to

Two small men who hold so much power

Size does not matter, the affairs of France and Russia are held in the hands of these men. Indeed one could say what is decided and talked about by these two could influence Syria and the world.
Personally I know when we women of the world take charge the world will be a safer place. Trouble is it will not be in my lifetime but I do hope the roles reverse and women abolish wars and get everyone working together as one nation of the world sometime in the future. ( before I lose all my male readers, it was written tongue in cheek,simply because the idea is 100 years before its time)
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Nous sommes jeudi, le vingt six novembre

A wet morning, but I am not planning on finishing fencing today, it can wait till a dry day!
Simon Curtis is coming to tile a bedroom floor.( find him in the side panel, handyman, builder etc)
We have given over a sofa and bedroom to the dogs and want the floor tiling to make it easier to keep clean. The dogs bedroom which was in the study in to the hall in January will be turned into an ensuite.
One of the decisions made when we decided moving was a foolish idea was to continue improvements which we had given up on. We now agree even considering a move was a daft idea and all the pets agree. They do have a say we are a democracy!!
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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Two of the christmas cards from the local anglican church

Support the local church by buying Christmas cards

If you click on the link and then follow Robin's advice you will find the Christmas cards
Dear Val,
If you open any one of the  "Where we are" pages on the website (there are 7 places where we are -Alet, Brens, Cahors, ...etc), you will find the cards illustrated at the bottom of the page.
However, since I am going away on Friday for 20 days, if anyone would like cards they would need to be in touch with Cecily Pratt at or 05 63 75 34 52.
Best wishes - Robin
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This Christmas market is at Caylus

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Fencing in the bloomin' rain

Why oh why in all the nice weather we have had, do we wait to finish the fencing in the rain. The ground that has been rock hard suddenly with the rain has become a down hill grass ski slope especially with wellies with no grip. You think I am generally a kind person but today I felt like showing my true colours. After an hour stringing tape to isolaters I yelled to Malc I had finished one section, I was wet through and  I had had enough. Malc poor lad who struggles worse than me on the grassy slopes for reasons we all know, at this moment got  his  artifical leg tangled in the fence and down he went.
 Giggling was not an option.
I said " I will just tie this bit up then I am off" Malc said " no, go and switch the power on down the field"  I set off then Malc shouted "no go back up and finish what you were doing"
"Make your bl**** mind up" I yelled back .
Then as I was about to switch the electric current on I noticed Malc still fiddling with the line?
What do you think I did ?

Well I thought about it and that gave me as much satisfaction.
... and even funnier if you felt like laughing, the donkeys were all sheltering in the hut !! no solidarity from them.
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Marché aux truffes à Lalbanque

Tourisme Lalbanque Limogne's photo, as the truffle market starts. I love how the events of the seasons follow on. We have had the chestnut fairs and now the buying and selling of truffles start.
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A lovely walk along the banks of the Aveyron

The second walk of the day is usually along the Aveyron in Varen or Viaur or the Aveyron in Laguepie, today we chose Varen.
We saw the sweetest  red squirrel gathering nuts, he stayed watching us as we stayed watching him.
Then a kingfisher flew past, a flash of iridescent blue.
There was a huge black cormorant and a few ducks.
All the time Malc was wishing he had his camera. I was just enjoying seeing the river flowing fast over the weir.
Bonny was enjoying digging on the island and Eldo who has a sore paw from too much digging was watching Bonny enviously and occasionally pulling out clumps of grass with his mouth to help, holding his poorly paw in the air.

We all love our walks.
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Two more bikes offered

I am getting from French, Dutch and English sources good donations of bikes.
I have just had a giggle with Malc at the thought of a group of refugees jumping on the bikes and cycling back to Calais! We were told by the directrice from the prefecture we could expect some refugees leaving and going back. They will be replaced by others. Our 100 strong group are really going to pull out the stops to welcome them and whatever happens in their lives if they stay longer or not, we want this period to be one where they know warmth and importantly security.
If we can do this for them, we will have achieved something really special.
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Antenne d'Oc

Bonjour à tous,Je suis heureux d'appeler votre attention sur deux émissions de radio de Antenne d'Oc (88.1) qui présentera l'Harmonie des Artisans Réunis par des entretiens avec son chef Peter Nowfel et sa présidente Véronique Botella. Les interviews ont été aimablement animés par la correspondante radio Mme Claire Begin et ils peuvent être écoutés à 17h30 mercredi le 25 novembreou à 9h00 jeudi le 26.
Nous sommes reconnaissants à l'équipe de Antenne d'Oc pour leur aimable attention.
Peter Nowfel
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I am not asking for vests for chickens but I am asking for socks

Bring a pair of mens socks to the book swap on the 7th Dec, never mind the chucks let us keep our refugees warm.
Just bought a pack of 5 socks for 9 euros 50 at Unicor, so you could say one pair is 2 euros. If you forget a pair of socks you can donate 2 euros and I can buy some more.
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If you like opera?

Hi Val and Malcolm
A very interesting operatic discussion on the 'Today' programme this morning -Antonio Pappano talking ( and singing) about the Opera's Cav and Pag. Worth listening to on BBC I-Player.
Joan x

Bandits not terrorists

One's first reaction to the hostage situation in Roubaix, in northern France close to the Belgian border, was "oh, not again", but it turns out to be something different. A gang of armed robbers took a bank manager hostage and demanded to be taken to the branch where he worked. By chance the car was stopped for a control, and he escaped telling the police what was going on. (fortunately the police believed him, we can imagine them saying "pull the other one, monsieur). An exchange of shots was heard and some of the gang went into the house, taking his wife and children hostage. Others fled.
Officers of the armed reaction group went to the house and freed the remaining hostages unharmed, one of the criminals being shot dead in the process. The procureur said it was a case of "grand banditisme", and had no terrorist implications.
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Are you with me or Malc?

Morning smiles I like, cats I love. Malc is not sure if they are for TAG, unless I can prove they are French kittens!
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A Baguette a Day, My First Year in St. Antonin

In A Baguette a Day, T D Lake along with his wife, Linnea, and their golden retriever, Beau, take a leap of faith into the unknown when they move from Sedona, Arizona to Saint Antonin-Noble-Val, a rural village in southwest France. The parade of the unknown in setting up their new life began the moment they arrived, bringing this threesome both challenges and fun. They had no idea what it meant to integrate into French life but quickly learned that it is more complicated than they could have ever imagined. Life in France was so different in many ways and it moved at a different pace.  It's a good adventure that captures the real deal.  
Buy this book at

"TD "Lake
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They are just deranged thugs, nothing to do with religion

Some of the Islamist terrorists who were involved in last week's Paris attacks were hardly the most devout Muslims, regularly enjoying drugs, alcohol, and rarely reading the Koran. And that's before they slaughtered innocent people of all faiths.    A quote from the Local  Comments to

The ski stations are open

Photo Laurent Dard
The link to the Depeche gives you a  list of ski stations in the Pyenees
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Nous sommes le mercredi vingt cinq novembre

Good morning Val
Just to say I only have one pup left which is biscotti.
Val says not sure if this is Biscotti, but the pup left is one from the same litter
tel 0780472572  chipped and vaccinated
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Adverts are for shoes

I am a busy little bee in between caring for the pets. Today I have arranged for a delivery of  new socks from a lovely lady living in the middle of France who has set up a fund just to raise money for socks for  refugees. Our St. Antonin  guests will want more than one pair so I am still asking you to buy a pair to bring to the book swap as a christmas present, a small token to show them we care.
I now have 6 bikes offered so if I could get one or two more I would be pleased.
Then I have asked everyone who needs and wants to renew their advert to pay the money to me for "the shoe fund" I have pledges so far of  140 euros and I am still waiting to hear from a few people.
TAG viewing figures are remaining solid, so the adverts are a good way of getting your word out.  We may have lost a few extreme right wingers but gained others who because of our efforts have just heard of TAG.
I was delighted to hear Steve Carpetman is being very  busy but as he now has extra staff he can still fit you in before Christmas. I remember when he first started we heard from Steve a lot, he worked hard at promotion and it has paid off.
Some of the advertisers now pay for the year, this includes Hans Buijserd of VIDEPC and Richard Tippett the builder and wife Terri who has the most wonderful selection of pants.  (I think that should read plants, but I am not  discussing on TAG, Terri 's pants or lack of them!) Their  money has already been given to various charities.
Do you still use TAG as a reference tool for a builder, plumber, gardener or TV computer man ? All the adverts are in the side panel and if the business is linked to a website one click  on the symbol takes you to their site. Support local businesses and their adverts in turn support my good causes, be it  children in Africa,  the donkey sanctuary, cancer support, alzheimers, or shoes for refugees.

Caroline Mills says
Terri's pants are always great quality, she has flowery ones, but some are prickly. In the spring you will be able to go and see them!
This should get more men in to gardening than Charlie Dimmock's wet tee shirts on ground force.
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A raid in Roubaix at the moment

My French pen pal Annie, my friend for 55 years or more lives in Roubaix, as does her daughter Sandrine. Just seen this in the Depeche, saying " hostages have been taken"
Malc quickly did some research to find it is a robbery gone wrong and nothing to do with terrorists after all. Phew! all this trouble on our European doorstep.
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Congratulations are in order

Dear Val

We have finally been  told after the best part of nine months that we have been accepted for French Nationality! The last part of the process will be in another six months when we will have to stand infront of the Préfect and receive our 'welcome pack', sing the Marseilles and toast and be toasted in champaigne.

It was a very emotional getting the letter. Ross who also got it his letter today had bought it over for me to my quilting class. I was there with about 20 French women who all clapped and cheered and gave me lots of bisous. I think that next week I shall need to take a bottle or two for a vin d'amité

At a tough time for France maybe we can train out two cats to be vigelant like those in Brussels. 

Val says   well done both and it did not take as longas we thought it might.  yippee.

Maxime, Babouch and Haribou watching the arrival of Coco in the late spring

Happier times long before I was concerned about refugees, in the spring I had concerns for donkeys.
Coco needed to be with a friend and he needed castrating, readers helped me pay and then Maxime who I knew had a single donkey decided he would take Coco.
Now 6 months on all three are settling down and Maxime says there is a bond building between the donkeys. We dare not ask what had happened to Haribou, Malc had suggested mutton chops perhaps. Now it is nice to know Haribou is still there with the two donkeys and they are all friends. Just found this picture which makes me smile.
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Benjamin Clementine

Val says award wining singer, write up in the Independant

I fully expected Benjamin Clementine to win the Mercury Prize with At Least For Now, his bleak yet bewitching, beautiful debut album first released on the Barclay label in France at the tail end of last year. After all, he’d already won a prestigious award in France, a Victoire De La Musique, for “breakthrough live performer”, back in February.

My sentiments exactly

OK so I know it is a bit " twee" but never has caring been so important in the world as it is now.
Stop cringing Malc!
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Measuring climate change in the Pyrenees

Various schemes are being used in the mountains to measure the effects of global warming, such as changing animal habitats, growth of regional flora, temperature of lakes. All the data are being collected annually, or even quarterly in some cases.
The most striking results are in the shrinking of glaciers. The Ossue ice field has lost over 112 metres in length and 16 metres in depth since measurements started in 2001. Pierre Rene of an organisation called Moraine says that the glacier has receded by 60% in the last 100 years.
His picture shows how it has changed in the last 15 years.

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Clean up your act says " top court"

France's top administrative court has backed an order that forces the French government to improve conditions at the New Jungle camp in Calais, after several NGOs said the camp had "serious human rights violations".
France's Council of State rejected on Monday the appeal from the French government, meaning the département of Pas-de-Calais and the town of Calais must work to improve life for the 6,000 migrants who live at the camp. 
The body noted that the living conditions at the slum were "very likely to expose migrants to inhumane or degrading treatment".
 The council's decision backs an earlier judgement by a court in Lille that ordered France to install ten more water stations - with five taps each, 50 latrines and "one or several" more access points to emergency services.
 Along with the new sanitation stations, the administrative court had ordered the installation of garbage collection sites and general cleaning of the camp.  

Dog shoots man

It is axiomatic that "dog bites man" is not news, but "dog shoots man" must be! Yesterday a 61 year old chasseur in the Haute Pyrenees leaned his gun against a tree while went to pick up a woodcock he had shot. But his dog ran up, knocked the rifle over and discharged it, hitting the man in the forearm and peppering his companion with shot. Fortunately the dog was not a good enough shot to endanger the life of his master, who was nevertheless treated by pompiers before being taken to hospital in Orthez.
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A different photo this morning

Looking out of the side window this morning at 8.15am, a frosty start to the day. The area around the stable.
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Nous sommes le mardi vingt quatre novembre

Awoke this morning to a white world, a very strong frost with a freezing fog. I can see the donkeys all huddled together in the shed. They have a nice layer of straw on the floor assuming they have not eaten it all. Little heads and ears are sticking out, listening for me coming to give food.

Yesterday Malc spoke again to Maxime the new owner of Coco rescue donkey, he felt he had a breakthrough in the donkey relationship. Babouch had started to allow Coco in to the stable. Up to now he has guarded it for his own with his friend the sheep Haribo. It has taken 6 months but the three are ending up friends ... a warming story for this morning.
Remember the warm spring day Maxime walked his new donkey home with local helpers Jo and Ron.

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Monday, 23 November 2015

La Seye et Vous at Verfeil

Vendredi 27 novembre à la seye et vous, puisque le froid à l'air de vouloir s'installer, nous accueillons le duo ZINOPOL à partir de 19h30 pour une soirée chaleureuse et essoleillée !!!
               Le Groupe ZinoPol explore les musiques du soleil. Avec Le guembri, le ney, le mandol ils adaptent des chants Gnawa, Arabo-andalou, Afro-Cubain. Leurs compositions et Leur répertoire ou fusionnent les styles, les genres,les couleurs est à l'image de leur parcours de musicien éclectique : Fabulous Trobadors, Hasna Becharia, La Talvera, Houria Haïchi, ness el hiya, groupes de salsa, jazz, musique antillaise, musique arabo-andalouse. Pour en voir et en écouter un bout...
Ce vendredi, ZinoPol aura le plaisir de vous présenter son invité d’honneur Juan Antonio Reyes :
Juan Antonio Reyes est Mexicain, amérindien d'origine Totonaque , il consacre sa vie à fabriquer et reproduire les instruments de musique du Mexique Ancien. Juan est un musicien qui aime jouer en fusion "Si les cœurs battent à l’unisson, nous pouvons rapprocher les hommes, les cultures et découvrir une autre vision du monde".
Et pour faire chanter les ventres et danser les papilles : sauté de dinde forestière ou tourte aux champignons et des desserts (des calories pour lutter contre le froid...).
Renseignements : 05 63 65 22 18.

Another bike under the belt" so to speak"

Dear Malc and Val,
This weekend we had family over from Holland and they brought bikes for Marco and me (St Nazaire is great to cycle). This means that my bike, who I didn't took yet, is still in our barn. And I won't need it anymore. It is an oldie but a very good one, maybe needs repairing of tires or other small reparations. You may have it.
If you are interested, would it possible that you or someone else pick it up  (not far from the rehoboth centre). Let me know, I can organised that someone opens the door.
Rest me to say that I'm proud of you all and all the good work you are doing.
Big hug, Miranda xx
Val says thank you for that offer of a bike, we will certainly arrange to get it picked up. I will enjoy the image of you all cycling around beautiful St. Nazaire)
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March at Villefranche next Sunday

Dimanche prochain, les citoyens qui s’inquiètent du dérèglement climatique descendront dans la rue.
2 200 manifestations sont actuellement programmées.
Sur Villefranche, la manifestation est autorisée…
Nous invitons aussi tous les artistes, musiciens, chanteurs, clowns, comédiens, animateurs, etc.  à participer à ce mouvement qui doit être un grand moment de convivialité.
A bientôt, Dominique

A protest march against climate change. One of 2200 arranged. The march has been authorised and will meet at Villefranche railway station at noon and will be followed by a convivial repas at the market hall. Entertainment will be provided.


A diffuser largement…