Thursday, 25 August 2016

Suggestion for a gentleman on his own

Dear Val
I have a suggestion for someone wanting to 'try out' living in St Antonin Noble Val. 
As part of my 'chambre'd'hote' I have a very comfortable  (second floor) bedroom with  'en suite' bathroom available  which I  am thinking of long-term letting over this coming autumn-to-spring.  Because  I have to have a shoulder operation in October  my  bed-making and window-cleaning activities will have to be curtailed whilst I it makes sense to long-let.    Bed-linen, washing machine and ironing board available!  Must tolerate/appreciate  my beloved  cats! 
  If someone ( or a couple) wanted to  try living centrally  in St Antonin  for a while  I could  offer the use of the dining-sitting room, share of my (well-appointed)  kitchen, central heating,  satellite TV, and  wifi  - in effect - a house  and  court-yard-garden-share in central St Antonin.  I have a website if anyone is interested in checking me out -  and we can arrange sensible rates for such an arrangement.
   The wonderful cinema in St Antonin has not been mentioned which is open all year round -and  which is just round the corner from here showing multi-cultural and 'version original' films. We have year-round activities in the village  and  there is every reason to enjoy a full, interesting and active live here - I do !

Andrea White  
 'La Reverie'   Chambre 'd'hote
​       mobile 0684 155 211​


Hi Val
Hope you and the family are OK today.

A strange thought struck us yesterday. At about the time of the earthquake we were woken by an electric ‘blip’ when phones and aircon units around the house switched  on and off. I wonder if it was a tremor felt in France ?? Has anyone else mentioned this?

Looking forward to having you back safe and sound

L xXx

Betty says
Yes,I had the same thing with phone & electicity!!

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Italian earthquake

Val, Malc & family,   You have been in my thoughts since the news of the earthquake affecting the area you were holidaying in.   A week on Saturday it will be six years since our first big earthquake (7.2) which i was at about the same time as the Italian one.   So frightening to be woken up
In that way, it took some time to realise what was happening.   I hope the girls will not be too traumatized by the experience.    The aftershocks are very upsetting and I have to say we are still experiencing them albeit  not so frequently, now past 15,000. 
  Take care  Regards Ann
Val says
Ann from Christchurch in NZ has been a reader of TAG for years.She remembers a good holiday in St. Antonin and likes to hear of our adventures.

Local author wants to arranging a signing.

Hi Val,

As you will know, I am published by Crooked Cat Publishers.  My third novel with them, Vichyssoise, has just been released in paperback (  As much of it is set in St. Antonin, I wondered whether your readers would be interested for me to do a book-signing locally to you? (I believe the SA bookshop only deals with used books.)  My original intention was to use local texts in French for my research, as I wanted to get a feel for the real man who was Philippe Pétain.  If interested, perhaps you could suggest a venue and date before, say, the end of October (I would need some time to access sufficient books). To whet your appetite, below is a description:

Nous sommes le jeudi vingt cinq aout

Apparently it is very hot there this week.

We are more concerned here in Central Italy with an earthquake which has devasted numerous local villages and killed 247 people, many still  mising and the toll is expected to rise.
Two earthquakes followed by at least 80 aftershocks. Last night we had another quake of 4.1 which had us panicking again, as the house swayed.
We are devastated at the loss of life of Italians and tourists. A spectacularly beautiful area and up to two nights ago we had all agreed we would like to come back and explore more.
Now sadly we are all looking forward to leaving at the week end and getting safely home.
comments to

Electric pool cleaner going spare?

Hi Val
Gosh isn't it hot - I personally hate it

AD..................Wanted a good quality Electric Pool Cleaner in guaranteed condition.    Telephone 05 63 33 13 00 or email -

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Regatta today

Martin Feeney did not win but he enjoyed the day and the racing... report of the day soon

Six dead in nearby village

Do remember we are holidaying in the Marche in Italy, we are not in France.
In a local village 6 have been killed it has been announced so far. That village is virtually destroyed.
We are all feeling fragile after being mainly in the garden from 3.45 am.
We are off up to our village to have a coffee and listen to the local news.
French news may be limited today.
21 now confirmed dead. The locals tell us they were all in the streets or slept in cars. Everyone was frightened so it was not just us.
Comments to

Safer in France

Just had quite a severe earthquake, apparently we are at the epicentre.
As the bed shook I thought Malc was having a fit, Sam thought Christiaan was rubbing his nose, till it got really severe.
Everything rattled, pictures came off the walls and cracks have appeared in some plasterwork
We ran down stairs with everything in the house shaking. We made an assembly point in the garden.
When Sam said " we have cracks in the walls"  Annie said " will we have to pay for that?" which made us all laugh.
After another small earth tremor we are back in bed having looked up what to do in case of other severe tremors.
After another more serious tremor we are back downstairs having quickly got dressed.
What an exciting holiday.
The first was 6.1 and the last 5 .3
We are now sitting in the kitchen feeling a bit anxious.
Annie says she is scared not anxious.
Picture of us in night clothes ready to leave the house.
ON local news a nearby village has been destroyed

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Just an idea

The young couple who have the rockery nursery at Les Espiemonts, his mother has recently moved to St A and she is on her own and does not drive, so might be idea for him to speak to her.  
See below for their contact details.

Morning Val

FREE RANGE PORK AVAILABLE THIS WEEK: Lincolnshire and Pork N Apple Sausages back on the menu!

Also, have Pork N Leek and Gold Sausages and cuts of Echines and Pork Chops, any other cuts you'd prefer please ask

All priced at 14 euros per kilo.

To Reserve phone 0563652578 or e-mail:

Nous sommes le mardi vingt trois août , I think

I have been contacted by a retired academic who sadly is on his own since the death of his wife.
He is thinking about coming to live in St. Antonin, but wonders if there is a social life for him.
He is the same age as Malc and I  but has the problem that he does not drive and also does not speak French.
He asks should he do it? I would like some advice from you all for him.
Mine would be go for it. The social life is great vand is there if you want it.
Book swap once a month at the Gazpacho in St. Antonin. Many games clubs, bridge, cards, games group at the Gazpacho.
Walking groups, reading groups, dining groups folk groups, the list is endless. Many singles, mainly ladies so the chaps are in demand.
Shopping easy in St. Antonin.
Down sides  dealing with  general French life difficult without some language skill but a great place to have French lessons, two or three teachers and groups right in the town or even Jacynth Crozier who will come to you and comes highly reccommended.
Can we have other opinions please, Malc thinks he should rent here for a couple of years before deciding, but the gentleman has been renting in the GERS and knows he likes the life.
Comments to
Ginny says
Depends if he wants to learn  French if he does he will have a real entry to everywhere and make both British and French friends. His ability to leave SA will be limited but there is the weekly market bus on a Monday morning and if he is rich enough he can take taxis to Caussade and the train 

Goeff says
If he can't drive then a place in St Antonin would probably suit him very well. Lots to see and do.

Eve  says I would not recommend it if he cannot drive 

Chris says
I'd say give it a try. For most of us it has, after all, been a test of whether we're adventurous enough. Renting first is vital, given how slowly house purchases go through here. We chose our house one February, in sleet. If you like the place then, you'll love it in during the other 3 seasons. St Ant has loads to offer, but good way to see more without a car is via Caylus (10km), with the Villefranche - Montauban bus service passing through twice or more a day. Also the permanences at St Ant (CPAM, Impots, etc) make dealing with bureaucracy that bit easier. An academic brain needs like minds to feed off, and St Ant is no backwater when it comes to bright people. Plus there's so much to do all year round if you get out and meet people, and single out the ones who enjoy the same things as you do - or as you might if you tried them... Maybe putting in an appearance on Facebook might be a good first step. Also, wanting to be able to cope in French is, as Ginny wisely says, pretty key. But the Paretto principle applies, and getting to that level isn't anything like as hard as becoming fluent. If this gent plans to visit, should be happy to meet up to chat. Hope this helps. C

Monday, 22 August 2016

Varen regatta Wednesday

Rhodri Miles is Burton

Dear F.E.T. friends

Our next show, on Wednesday 21st September at 7pm, is the award-winning BURTONa warts-and-all biography of Richard Burton from humble beginnings to Hollywood mega-stardom.
 From tempestuous relationships with beautiful women (not least Elizabeth Taylor), a love affair with alcohol and constant guilt over the family he had left behind, this gritty, exuberant and often hilarious one-man show has received rave reviews on the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond. 

Rhodri Miles (Torchwood, Game of Thrones) stars as the younger Burton, in an acclaimed  performance which garnered "Best International Show" at the Hollywood Fringe awards."A brilliant and gripping portrait" ***** LA Weekly “Fantastic, the whole audience was in the palm of his hand from beginning to end” ***** Edinburgh Guide 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Traffic measures in St. Antonin

Dear Readers,
I thought I would brave the obnoxiously busy Saint Antonin market this morning for a change, to see what all the fuss is about – since it has been amply applauded/criticised on this forum. Here’s my tuppence-worth on what I saw.
For those of you criticising it, what on Earth is your problem? I thought it was a bloody good idea to funnel everyone up towards Caylus and then back into the Place des Tilleuls by the back way (or indeed the reverse if you’re coming from the direction of Espinas and the like.) I also thought it was excellent that they have used barriers to separate the traffic from the stalls/shoppers along the main drag down towards the garage.
Whether it has been done for traffic reasons, pedestrian-safety reasons, or vigipirate reasons, it works for me and seems sensible. In fact I would suggest it is long overdue for a village centre which is ridiculously packed with shoppers and traffic all fighting for the same limited space on a Sunday morning. So I take my hat off to the Mairie, Préfecture, Conseil Départementale, Président for it – whoever took the decision.
It doesn’t inconvenience those doing their shopping (they can pass freely through), motorists get a clearer and safer passage without being a danger to shoppers, it hasn’t made parking any harder (which becomes just ridiculous in the summer anyway), and it certainly won’t have done any harm on the vigipirate front. So where is the problem?
If you’re one of those objecting, is it perhaps because it makes it a bit more awkward (and takes three extra minutes) to get to your weekly coffee stop? If that’s your reason, please think of other people (such as the safety of pedestrians and especially children) before you get worked up about being a tiny bit late for your little cafe gatherings. Maybe that’s not the reason for the objections – perhaps it is just some mindless cretins indulging in mindless trolling on TAG just to stir things up. Whichever of those two reasons it might be, get a grip and think of others. In any case, this grumbling is making the British ex-pat community here look like selfish colonial Little-Englanders in a foreign land.
Best Wishes,
comments to

Val says
Sorry S, we have readers with opinions and calling people cretins and mindless trolls is unnecessarily rude.
For me I like the idea of pedestrianising the main street.

Enjoyed S's message - there is a lot of truth in it guys!
I was at the market myself yesterday for the first time this summer (I tend to avoid it during the summer months as it is full of ex pat LOL), and found it worked very well and was easier and safer to get around.

Draw International at Caylus

Vide maison in September in Montauban

Vide Greniers

Hi Val

Hope you're holidaying extravagantly!

Two big vide greniers today back in Tagland: Auty (82) and Vieux (81).


Nous sommes le dimanche vingt et un août

If you know of anything happening in the area let us know and we can promote it even from Italy.
Comments to

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Deputy editor has brain explosion

Nous sommes le samedi vingt août

buon giorno
from the sunny Appenines.
Today driving to our rented house at Montalto delle Marche
Malc even though the car is automatic cannot drive it as the pedals are not well configured for his artificial leg.
Does anyone know how the electronic speeding works in Italy now? Saw two signs above the motorway saying " this stretch is monitored by electronic speeding."  The speed limit was 130 and I varied from 110 to 130 but one time gave myself a shock to see 140 on the speedometer. It is a powerful car and yesterday I had not found cruise control. If they measure your time overall I think I should be OK!!!
Enjoy your day, I think it is going to hot in SW France.
Linda tells me it is raining - thank heavens the gardens needed it
Comments to

Sausages and they can be tried at the market

A nouveau ce weekend, en plus de l’agneau, nous vous proposons de la merguez de brebis, ainsi que de la saucisse de brebis nature et au curry.

Les merguez et saucisses seront disponibles sur le marché de Montauban ce samedi 20 août, et sur le marché de Saint Antonin ce dimanche 21 aoûtpar contre, pascal n’étant pas sur la ferme cette semaine, je ne pourrai pas trop livrer. 
Ces produits sont 100% brebis (pas d’ajout de porc ou autre), nous ajoutons seulement des épices bio pour la merguez ; du sel et du poivre bio pour la saucisse nature ; du sel, du poivre bio et du curry bio pour la saucisse au curry.
Le prix au kilo est de 12,90 € pour la saucisse, et 13,00 € pour la merguez. 
La DLC (date limite de consommation) va jusqu’au 28 Août.

Nous referons de la merguez et de la saucisse de brebis aux alentours de mi-septembre, je vous tiendrai au courant de la date précise.

Cette année, nous serons présents avec nos agneaux, toutes les semaines sur les marchés et cela très certainement jusqu’à l’hiver, avec l’ensemble des morceaux au détail, et la possibilité de commander des colis de demi agneau (6 à 8 kg). 
Je vous rappelle aussi que nous aurons du porc gascon la semaine du 5 Septembre, et du veau la semaine du 17 octobre et du 28 novembre (dates à confirmer en fonction de la croissance des animaux), colis ou détail à commander au préalable. N’hésitez pas à commander d’ores et déjà.
Tous nos animaux sont élevés en AB (agriculture biologique), certification Ecocert.

Nous sommes à votre disposition pour vous en dire davantage sur le marché, par téléphone ou par mail, vous pouvez également venir découvrir notre ferme en famille ou avec des amis, sur rdv préalable

Pour commander, il vous suffit de  nous renvoyer un mail, ou de nous appeler au 05 63 30 63 36(répondeur si nous ne sommes pas là). Nous confirmerons bien entendu la possibilité de votre commande dans les 48h et verrons avec vous les détails de livraison.

Si vous ne souhaitez plus recevoir nos mails, il suffit de nous en informer par retour…

Nous vous souhaitons une belle fin de journée, 

Florence Morot-Gaudry et Pascal Picili

Safari supper

Back by popular demand - Festilitt safari supper Saturday 24 September
Last year Festilitt introduced Parisot to the concept of a safari supper and it was such a huge success many of you have asked us to organise another one.

So join us on Saturday 24 September, for a highly sociable evening during which you will eat each course of your meal at a different host's house, with a different group of people.  It's sure-fire way to taste new food, meet new people and discover new corners of Parisot and its surroundings. 

The evening will start in the centre of the village at 19.00, from where you will be given the directions to your first course.

Tickets €20 per person for a three course meal and wine.

 Space is limited & reservations are essential:  please email

Friday, 19 August 2016

Talking Italian

Negotiated the Rome by pass with no problems ( you were right Ginny)
Now in the Appenines in a rather smart hotel, too good for the likes of Malc and I.
Had an early evening prosecco in the bar and now off for a meal in the rather smart restaurant.
Every man looks like Robert De Niro, loving it so far.
Malc is talking Italian and it is lovely to hear.
Ah demain   or a domani
Comments to

Good news on French unemployment

Hi Val


Some one sleeps well

The Big Bed Furniture Company
Rieusec 82330 Varen   06 74 17 68 93

A recommendation.

We could not find a new bed that we liked anywhere, so we thought we'd look for someone to make one for us and, very fortunately, we found Marian Staal who runs the Big Bed enterprise. 
She made a beautiful oak bed for us, working collaboratively with our design ideas but adding interesting design elements of her own. We found her to be so enthusiastic about what she does, so easy to get on with and always, refreshingly, prompt in replying to emails - and she produces work of real quality at a very reasonable price; in fact we so enjoyed working with her that we have already commissioned another couple of pieces. 
We highly recommend her to anyone seeking bespoke, well-made furniture and an efficient and friendly service.
Alan and Kathryn Humphries

Handel's Messiah at Puycelsi

It's 10 years since we started to organise the scratch concerts to raise money for the restauration of the church in Puycelsi. To celebrate this anniversary the choir will once again be singing the Messiah by Handel on 11 September at 5pm (please note that this is an hour earlier than usual).  Tickets are priced €18.00 for adults,€12.00 for students and those under 18 and entry is free for those under 10.

Reservations are recommended and can now be made by phoning 05 63 33 15 84 or emailing 

looking forward to seeing everyone

Ross and Ginny Jenkins

Nous sommes le vendredi dix neuf août

Hot temperatures forecast here all next week, 30's plus.
In the Marché they are forecasting 27 or 28.. just perfect.
You will apparently be hotter here than in Northern Spain.
When will that rain come? probably with a storm.
in that case remember to unplug your live box.
Comments to