Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The EU wants to protect us

THE EU has set out formally its wish to guarantee all the key rights of British citizens living in the EU27 and EU27 citizens in Britain after Brexit – putting the ball in Britain’s court to agree to these terms.

Its ‘negotiation directives’ say safeguarding the 'status and rights' of the citizens and their families "is the first priority for the negotiations because of the number of people affected and the seriousness of the consequences of the withdrawal for them”.
The president of the Council of the EU, Louis Grech, said: “We have established the EU position on the key issues for the beginning of the talks. The rights of citizens are at the very top of our agenda and we aim for an ambitious solution, where those affected continue to enjoy their rights".
They say rights to be protected should be reciprocal between Britons and EU27 citizens, based on equal treatment, and should be enforceable and vested for life. Citizens should be able to exercise their rights through ‘smooth and simple’ procedures and any residence cards should be issued ‘under a simple and swift procedure’ essentially of a ‘declaratory nature’.
Rights protected should include:
  • The status and rights derived from EU law at the withdrawal date (ie. probably the end of March 2019)
  • Rights that the people concerned will only enjoy at a later date – for example rights related to pensions – and rights that are in the process of being obtained, including the chance to acquire them after the withdrawal date, under existing conditions. For example a Briton resident in France for two years on Brexit Day could gain ‘permanent residence’ rights three years later.
  • Rights of people who used to be expats in previous years but went back to their country of origin (eg. full rights to pensions)
  • Both economically active and ‘inactive’ people and students, and their family members who join them at any point in time before or after the withdrawal date
  • As a minimum, the definition of protected rights should include: residence and rights from free movement as under the EU treaties, including ‘permanent residence’ after five years and rights to access healthcare; rights obtained under social security coordination rules including exportable benefits and pension aggregation; workers’ rights such as access to the labour market or to run a business, social charge or tax advantages, and access to training. Rights of workers’ family members to education and training under the same rules as nationals.
  • Continuing recognition of qualifications that were recognised at the withdrawal date

Exhibition and workshops about prints in Laguepie

A l’occasion de la 5ème Fête de l’estampe dans toute la France, en Europe et dans le Tarn et Garonne
Arne Aullas d’Avignon vous invite
une petite histoire de la gravure
SAMEDI 27 ET DIMANCHE 28 MAI 2017 de 10H à 17H
Arne Aullas d’Avignon propose
et tarif de l’atelier
06 31 72 00 73
Événement organisé par Manifestampe :

Here's a bridge worth seeing

Many years ago we were taken by French friends on a picnic outing along the Viaur valley and we stopped to see an amazing railway bridge: the Viaur Viaduct. This fantastic structure was designed by an Albi engineer, Paul Bodin, in a competition which included Gustave Eiffel. Opening up the area to commercial rail traffic between Albi and Rodez in the early 20th century the bridge is a unique construction in France.
The structure made from steel with millions of rivets forged on site had as a principle arcs held in equilibrium by the weight of the train itself - a revolutionary concept which at first even train drivers were afraid to cross.
The villagers of Tanus have formed an association to restore the forgotten treasure and it will be revealed in its splendour later this year.

Viaduc du Viaur

Albi's oldest house

Photo Sylvain Duchampt
The Maison Fenasse is a private house by the marche couvert in Albi is thought to be the oldest house in the Tarn. Originally built in the 12th century by a wealthy merchant, the house still survives, though it has been altered and extended over the centuries. Built in the Roman style the stone arch seen on the first floor is a an important sign of its age. Originally built from stone, much of which survives, time and weather have caused much of the façade to be replaced with red brick. Travellers at that time would cross the river by the old bridge and climb up towards the cathedral, so many medieval houses were built around this area. Sadly many were demolished to be replaced by the covered market.
The Maison Fenasse is now divided into several private properties so is not open to visit.
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Nous sommes le mercredi vingt quatre

Promised sun again, it has not arrived yet...
Do not forget if you have a good meal out or even a poor meal to make a TOF report ( Tag on food)
We met some French holidaymakers in Laguepie on a Saturday. They asked where they could eat out for lunch. The answer " nowhere in Laguepie" The Deux Rivieres is closed Sat. lunch, the Pizzeria is closed and the building is up for auction with a guide price of 20,000 euros, what a bargain for someone. The little restaurant L' Oustal is up for sale due to ill health and the boulangerie is closed indefinitely, due to ill health. The "Fast fou" is not yet open.
We do now have the restaurant open certain days in Verfeil and the Moulin de Varen is open now, but closed Wednesdays. The Corniche is open but closed Wednesdays.
Tonight we are going to the Belle Rive at Najac, always good and of course with a view.
We heard that the Festin de Babette was up for sale, anyone know about this?
The Gazpacho is always open it seems and is always reasonably priced and worth the money and there are several other restaurants open in St Antonin.
Any other restaurants you want to mention?

Maggie says
L'esprit du Causse in Concots is very good, great value 14.5euros lunch including glass of wine & coffee.  Inspired chef, single menu, nice atmosphere, tables not all pushed together. They have a website & facebook page; have been open for about a year now, but we just were taken there last Friday. Worth a try for the Northern part of the TAG contingent.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

all for the church at Teysseroles

Long weekend ahead

Thursday 25th May is Ascension Day, and a national holiday here. Many people will use the Friday to faire le pont - literally to bridge to the weekend - meaning that the four days will be used for a long weekend break.
If you are planning to go by train it will be important to check the rail timetables because SNCF are planning major maintenance work from 16h on Thursday until 16h on Sunday. There will be no Intercity trains on the Toulouse - Limoges-Paris line, with some knock-on cancellations to the TER services using those lines. Toulouse - Bordeaux - Paris routes are unaffected. Some local services will have buses to replace trains, but they may well be fully booked.
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Trail des 3 Rocs

Nous sommes le mardi vingt trois mai

La vie des lavandières sur les bords du Daudou.
Carte postale datée et signée : 19 avril 1921.
carte postale Jean Marc Labarta

Monday, 22 May 2017

Nous sommes le lundi vingt deux mai

I was expecting wall to wall sun this morning so I am a bit disappointed with a cloudy sky. Malc tells me the forecast has changed and there could be rain this afternoon. Good growing weather but I do like the sun.
Another  busy day for me, organising young men, walking dogs, treating a problem with black mites in donkeys ears, and then we are invited out this evening.
Hours in the day are just not enough.
Enjoy your day everyone.
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Sunday, 21 May 2017

The new team at the Moulin

The team today, left to right
Patrick the chef
Camille the waitress
Christian, right hand man
Nathalie, wife of the chef

L'équipe d'aujourd'hui, de gauche à droite,
Patrick, Le Chef et nouveau propriétaire
Camille, votre adorable serveuse
Cristian, Le bras droit de Patrick sans son aide vous ne seriez pas aussi nombreux à pouvoir venir.
Nathalie, moi, l'épouse du Chef,
Merci beaucoup à vous tous pour la confiance que vous nous avez montrer ces 2 dernières semaines en venant manger au Moulin de Varen. En espérant vous y revoir très bientôt.

Blue Flag beach - in Aveyron

There are 53 blue flag beaches in Occitanie and naturally most of them are by the sea - but not all of them. Aveyron department is a long way from the sea, but it does have a massive reservoir at Pareloup. Designed largely as compensation for the rivers Tarn, Lot and Aveyron the huge plan d'eau is also used for leisure activities and its beach at Salles-Curan has been awarded the prestigious blue flag for the second year. Criteria include quality of water, cleanliness of the beach, state of the equipment and rubbish collection (including tri selectif). There are five inspections each season if the flag is to be retained.
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Nous sommes le dimanche vingt et un mai

"Dalida" at Laguepie

Les Medievales de Najac

Saturday, 20 May 2017

It is still there selling bread

A photo of the boulangerie in Lauzerte
photo be Lynda Thompson- Spack who has waited 5 years to be able to take the photo without the bread van parked infront of it.

Bal Ceilidh

This made me smile but is it funny

Sent by Sally from Najac
It is quite funny but shows what an unstable world we live in.
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Extra speed camera on A9

If you are driving to or from Spain via the A9 past Perpignan the road works between Le Boulou and the border  have a new mobile radar camera from last Wednesday. The camera can distinguish between lorries, cars and two wheel vehicles and apply the appropriate speed limit. Local police have noticed an increase in speeding through the area and poses a risk to motorists and road workers.
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A brush with the law

Fake "Tangle Teasers" seized
Customs officers in Montpellier seized 16000 hair brushes which had been imported from China. This follows the seizure of over 6000 toothbrushes by the same douaniers. The customs contacted the owners of the brand names who confirmed that the imports were fake and the counterfeit brushes were destroyed. It is estimated that the fakes would have cost 240000 euros to the genuine brands.

Nous sommes le samedi vingt mai

Looking down on St. Antonin Noble Val from Le Roc d'Anglers
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Friday, 19 May 2017

Book now for Mrs Roosevelt at FET

The next performance of the FET at Le Colombier theatre is on June 3rd at 20h (8pm). With glowing reviews for this touching and often hilarious portrayal of an important woman it pays to book now.
Full details at this link:

Natural gardening

Local gardens operating of a natural and organic basis (ie no pesticides etc) will be opening their doors on the weekend of 10/11 June. Gardeners will be on hand to explain their techniques as well as showing off their beautiful creations. All the gardens are private and include some in St Antonin, Caylus and Septfonds. Get details from your local tourist information.
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Montauban back in the big time?

The Sapiac based rugby club has suffered hard times these last few years: relegation from the Top 14 and banishment to the third tier due to financial irregularities. The club was re-formed as US Montauban (instead of MTG XV) and four years ago was promoted to Pro Div2. This season they finished third and therefore will play-off against Agen on Sunday. The match is on the Bordeaux ground where they won their only top tier championship, 50 years ago. Memories of an unsuccessful but exciting European Cup campaign in 2008 are enthusing players and supporters alike. The match can be seen live on France 3 from 15h15 on Sunday.
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Caylus vide grenier

Pay back our 414 million euros, please

Readers who have followed the Bernard Tapie story (in taglines as elsewhere) will remember that Tapie sold his company to Credit Lyonnais for some 300 million euros, then complained of fraud when the bank re-sold it for 700 million. He was awarded the 400 million difference by private arbitrators, but when the state (who by then were administering the bank) appealed the decision was reversed. A final appeal court has now determined that the arbitrators were biased and that there are no grounds for Tapie to be compensated. The then Finance Minister, now head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde was found guilty of negligence in appointing the arbitrators rather than allowing the case to be heard in open court, but was not subjected to any penalty.
M Tapie has now to repay the 404 million euros, but unfortunately he is currently bankrupt.....
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Health care expectations

A wide-ranging study by American researchers into health care provision throughout the world concludes, unsurprisingly that the best access to quality care in a wide number of diseases is in western Europe. Only Australia features in the top ten outside Europe.
France comes in at 15 and the UK at 30 (USA at 35). The study is based on the number of "preventable" deaths suffered in each care system as a result of difficulty of access to treatment in the various diseases. The study was funded by a "Global Health Burden" group, presumably aimed at finding ways of improving care provision. So if you want to survive best - go to Andorra. Worst place is Central African Republic.

For those interested in reading the full review it is in The Lancet at this link

Le Moulin de Varen is on our doorstep

And here's Patrick, the new owner, chef de cuisine formed by the chef Albert Roux at La Gavroche in London (one of the first 3 Michelin stars of Great Britain), he was one of his apprentices for 3 years, Then one of his heads for a few more years.

Beautiful large mirror

Now 70 euros

Nous sommes le vendredi dix neuf mai

Still warm even with a few spots of rain in the air. It still feels like holiday time to me.
I am busy planning two picnics in the park this summer, one at the Domaine de Sautou with Martins Jazz Band and a second here with Paddy and the Whacks.
Next week I will be able to give you dates of both, more information and then start taking bookings.
The evening at Sautou near Castanet will be all proceeds to the children of Mali and the evening here at Mas del Sol will be half to the children of Mali and half for our very local refugees.
I love a good picnic and musical evening that we can all look forward to.
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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Coffee morning in aid of UNICEF


Moya is holding a coffee morning on Thursday 25 May starting at 10:30 in aid of UNICEF’s latest urgent appeal

Terry Tippett (Fleurs de Terry) will be there selling plants and there will also be china and jewellery for sale, and the opportunity to wander around her garden

The entrance charge will be 4 euros. Please also bring any coppers you have as Moya has made an arrangement with Credit Agricole to accept these for the charity.

**It would be really helpful if you could bring cake, a bag and plenty of change. Hopefully everyone will have a very enjoyable morning and go away with somebargains.

Please e-mail Moya if you would like to attend – to ensure that there is enough cake! -  and to ask for directions, if needed: Her e-mail address is:  ortelephone: 0563 53 41 50

Just a warning

Hi Val and Malc,

My father has been living in Saint Antonin for five months and has always felt very safe. Yesterday this image was shattered when he found that his car exhaust had been shorn off and the catalytic converter stolen. He was parked in Place de la Condamine. 

I am really annoyed on behalf of my father as this has caused him lots of stress and will also cost €550. 

I would imagine this is completely pre-planned and wondered if anyone else has experienced this. I know someone’s trailer was stolen a few months ago not far from where my father parks.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…


C says
Hi Val

Can't guarantee that the stolen CAT will be covered under a French policy, but I think Irena's father ought to contact his insurance company, report the theft and ask them what cover he has for vandalism such as this. 


Have a treat

Between you and I
the time to go is lunch time, do not hang about. When word gets out the Moulin de Varen is going to be rushed off its feet. It has a facebook page, have a look at the menus, just super.
As a TOF report ( TAG on food) I would give it top of the scale 5.
We have been waiting Malc and I for it to reopen with the new owners, Patrick is from Scotland although born in France and his wife Nathalie is French( remember the first Nathalie and Buzo anyone from 12 / 15 years ago?)
Anyway it has just reopened and we were there checking it out for the second time in the two weeks of being open. Lunch, menu of the day was 15 euros,
so lovely with the sweetest young waitress from Les Landes. So important that the staff are sweet and attentive, it so adds to the ambience.
We ate on the terrace as we had the two dogs with us, not a regular occurrence as when it gets hot and busy the last thing you want is a dog to trip over.
We loved Martine and Alain the previous owners who are now at the Renaissance in Caylus, but as Martine herself mentioned to me before they came" these people are from a 2 star restaurant and I think they will be a step up"
Seriously get there before the summer crowds and then remember to book... they are going to be heaving before long... and they are just on our door step.( lucky us)

Our new President and Prime Minister

Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe, Premier ministre

nous sommes le jeudi dix huit mai

Making hay whilst the sun shines.
A few damper days forecast so we made the most of the weather, eating in the garden and playing games again. Malc likes playing cards as do many of the young men, he will be teaching them bridge before long.
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