Thursday, 29 December 2011

Savane, lovely lady with a gummy smile

Taglines readers and Fifi members, 18 of us in all had a really super day out visiting and supporting a donkey sanctuary based in the Lot. After a lovely drive through the country lanes, more lanes than we needed to visit, we arrived at Lavolvene . An association called 'Liberte des Anes' looks after the welfare of 26 donkeys and horses which would otherwise have suffered or gone to the knacker's yard. In fact many were saved at that very place. Savane the donkey pictured is a 35 years old part Poitou donkey with no top teeth, just shiny gums which she was happy to show us with a gummy smile.Many of the donkeys saved were on their way to be transported to Italy for meat. Lots of sad stories but for the donkeys now nothing but happy grazing and good care.The sun shone as we looked around and were introduced to some of the donkey characters by owner Jan Lemy.
Then into the pretty stone farmhouse for a splendid meal where the courses were as promised 1 euro each . We left at 10am and got back at 5pm and  it was one of the nicest days out we have had for ages.
Some of the donkeys are supported by The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary but costs are high with hay , medical and farrier bills so any contributions are welcome.
Also there are 6 donkeys at the moment waiting to find loving caring homes. You would need a couple of acres, a field shelter or barn and a love of donkeys of course.
For more information on the sanctuary check out

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas and Good Wishes for 2012

Many thanks to all TAGlines readers for so many kind words and positive feed back. I am hoping to keep on increasing readership with your help in 2012 so keep sending email addresses - once you have checked with the individual of course. More readers, more chance to find out things happening in the area and also selling those unwanted items.Do not worry about me considering those awful advertising pop ups  on screen that some one suggested I consider. TAG is free for adverts,  to submit articles to and participate in and is not a money making scheme but done purely for enjoyment.To those I have corrected sharply when sending information to Malcolm, my apologies and then my apologies to Malc for so fiercely guarding my baby when at the first sign of a technical problem I pull him in.
Happy Christmas to you all and good health and happiness in 2012  from Malcolm and myself
Val Johnstone

Three replies now posted

Apologies to people who left messages- forgot to check the dash board where they appear. I have now posted them and one is really useful, one is interesting and the other plain daft [ very funny really Sue] You may decide which is which.

Chats du Quercy Clearance Sale

Chats du Quercy Clearance Sale

Andrea is holding a Grand Clearance Sale at the Chats du Quercy charity

shop, 12 rue de la Treille, St Antonin, on Saturday 7, January from 14h00 to

17h00 and on

Sunday, 8 January from 10h00 to 15h00.

The shop will then be closed for reorganisation and restocking from 9 to 31

January. There will be a pre-St Valentine’s Day event with live music and

free bubbly on

Saturday, 4 February from 14h00 to 17h00 and on Sunday, 5 February from

10h00 to 15h00.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Marche de Noel - the big one!

Reminder from Arnoud Budelman for the Marche de Noel at St. Antonin Town Hall on Sunday 18th of December. Lots to see, lots to buy and scrummy food on offer.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Open day at the Donkey Sanctuary

We are getting a group to go to the Donkey Sanctuary about an hour and ten minutes away at Montaigu de Quercy  on Thursday 29th of December. They are trying to raise funds as they have 26 donkeys in their care, so a lot of hooves to be trimmed and hay to be bought. They are offering us lunch at 1 euro each course and I do hope they have got that right -it seems so cheap. They assure us that the chef is a really professional cook and makes delicious food.
The lady who runs the Sanctuary worked for many years at the world renowned Sanctuary at Sidmouth in Devon and runs her establishment on similar lines.
If you have family staying especially youngsters or just oldies like me who love donkeys it should be an interesting day out after lazy Christmas days.
Let me know  quite quickly if you are interested then I can pass on numbers for the meal and sort out travel arrangements.
Val or tel 0563640673
If you want to look up the Sanctuary it can be found  at

Mobility scooter delivered safely

Just to say thank you for including my request.

I employed George White who was both reasonable and reliable.
Sylvia Gray

See post 11th November

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

La Maziere - Antiques at Cordes- Worth a browse

I went by chance, actually seeking a valuation in to 'La Maziere' at Cordes sur Ciel. It is the  blue  painted or shuttered antique shop on the right hand side as you leave Cordes for Albi. I really enjoyed rooting around and thought they had some delightful stuff and actual things of quality. The couple were very friendly and helpful and although I was keen as always to speak French , they were just as keen to practise their English. The shop was open as the board outside said [ now that is often a surprise in itself!] and not a 'conge annuel' in sight. I think they must live above the shop which always makes opening easier. They have been going 16 years and have really improved the quality of stock in that time. We went in when we first arrived here and although there were some nice pieces there was also quite a lot of mixed 'tat'. Well I could not say that now.  The chap said that they had developed in their time a knowledge of what the English and Dutch  customers like and that knowledge  seemed to be working. They say on a little 'affiche' they gave me that they buy and sell and give valuations. Their telephone number is 05 63 56 00 70 and mobile 06 19 32 18 20 email:
I did not buy anything on this instance so could not say what their after sales service is like so if any one has more info. let us know.

Spam detected

Just for the time being if you receive an email from Iga or Jeremy Rewse Davies do not open it with out checking with them that they have sent one. Emails have been sent out but not by them so take care.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Parcels being sent from England

 Di Coleman a former resident of St. Antonin now living in England informs us of  the cheapest possible way to send parcels from England

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Motorists-what's waiting for you in 2012

400 more cameras- without warning signs.

50 more ''radars mobiles'' i.e. installed in unmarked police cars.

55 ''average speed radars'' - which measure how long it takes a car from point A to B, and therefore the average speed.

Radar warning devices in cars to be illegal [ from now] with a fine of up to 3,750 euros and 6 points.

Obligatory breath test kits in your glove compartment. It is thought that 2 such kits will cost around 2 euros. The fine for not having one 17 euros.

Happy driving

Gardening tip from Iga Rewse Davies

When planting trees, after digging the hole put in a piece of flexible tubbing down below the roots.Fill in the soil leaving the tube sticking out above the ground. Have a funnel to stick in the tube and then when you are watering, the tree gets the water down at its roots rather than on the soil surface. Clever stuff.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Cat who hates car journeys

Thank you for info. on travelling with pets and the new regulations, I had heard they had changed so that is helpful for me. Does anyone have any advice on travelling by car from the Tarn to London with a cat on board who loathes and gets distressed on car journeys?  I have had mixed reports about sedating cats.
Thank you and replies to
Ann Herdman  email at  
Ann Herdman-Smith <>      

Free to good home, extra, extra large boxer shorts - unused.

Men and shopping !
Malc has arrived back safely and having done a bit of shopping whilst in M&S in England proudly showed me his pack of 3 extra, extra large boxer short/briefs [ hardly brief] As he had already ripped apart the wrapping they cannot be returned so we are looking for a rather large man to give an extra Christmas present to.Someone suggested we wear a leg each which throws up some interesting pictures and could be fun, but on balance we would rather find them a new home.

Pet Passport Scheme

Changes to the Pet Passport Scheme have been finalised and from the 1st

January 2012 pets can travel 3 weeks after their rabies vaccination so no

longer the up to 8 month delay we had before. 

The other changes concern the tick and flea treatment which is

no longer required and the worming treatment which they have just confirmed

is still a requirement and will still involve a trip to the vets, however,

this is only needed for dogs and can now be done anytime between 1 and 5

days before you travel.  Check out the official UK government website for

the full story

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

TV's for sale

Toshiba 20inch flatscreen (LCD) TV for sale for 120 euros see the blog for photos and details:
Philips wireless TV  link for sale for 80 euros never used - see blog for details and photos
Let me know if you are interested or want further info
James Sweeting

Renovations of the Mairie in Saint Antonin

Please could we put something on Taglines concerning the renovations of the Mairie in Saint Antonin which although needs doing also needs a bit of input from the public.
The Amis de Vieux Saint Antonin contacted me concerning their fears for the renovations of the Mairie in Saint Antonin entitled:
Transformation du couvent des Génovéfains (Mairie) en "Maison des services publics"! (it is all in French)
For those who don't know the Mairie was once a convent of the Genov... (not sure!)
Here is a link to their website:
They outline what is going to be done and what they think should be done and have floor plans showing how the rooms in the Mairie will change:
If anyone has any comments there is a contact-us link on the website
Many thanks
James Sweeting

Timber Frames and Bespoke Joinery

We are lucky to have Marian Staal within our community, a lady with skills and  training as a timber framer.
She was born and brought up in South Africa where she lived till she was 21. From there she moved to London and worked for more than 15 years with The English National Opera touring with them as their lighting coordinator. Being very interested in building and joinery and wanting to improve her joinery skills she enrolled on a course and studied boat building. She is now a qualified timber framer and works with large section green oak timber making solid and aesthetic constructions.
She moved to France seven years ago and feels very well rooted in the community and has no plans to leave. I wondered what  reaction she has from other french artisans she comes in to contact with. Her answer 'I am used to working with difficult men and I find good humour and a bit of flirting works well. They may be puzzled to see a girl on site but they soon get over it and working relationships are good.' I asked how she managed all the heavy lifting work and she replied that her background in the theatre had taught her lifting methods. 'A useful item is a 'gin pole' a single point lifting device with a pulley on top. That and a digger and then gently, gently.'
I wondered what she considered her most interesting project and I was interested in her passionate reply. 'A frame takes on a personality as I work with it so I enjoy each project. I have just finished building a 17 metre frame kitchen extension , I enjoyed that. I am in the middle of building a whole house and that is  extremely exciting as I have carte blanche on the project. Along with the work I am in the middle of an MSC architecture course on sustainable and responsible building / architecture in energy and the environment focusing on low impact building. I get the feeling that this is one dedicated, hardworking lady with a lot of talent.
For new projects Marian's Company  GREENWOOD  can be contacted on mobile 06 74 17 68 93 or 0563276491  or

168 Brits did it last year.

168 Brits applied for French Nationality last  year. Does not seem a lot when you think how many expats we know.Sadly our plans to consider applying may be 'scuppered' as under the new regime new citizens must give up their old nationality.A new charter on rights and responsibilities has to be signed and it states you will not be able to claim other citizenship on French soil. I think few of us would be happy to give up our English passport so perhaps staying European citizens will be the best for us.
Thanks to Kath Airey for saving a piece she noticed in The Times headlined 'You like garlic and Piaf, you've got a gite and a beret. But do you know enough to be French?' Under the new rules that come into force in January, candidates for naturalisation will have to demonstrate a grasp of French history, culture and cuisine.Did you know for example that blanquette de veau, a veal stew with cream and egg yolks is cited as France's favourite dish? Who is Johnny Halliday? Well I know that one as at 13 years old on a french exchange I hung around a record stall in the local market swooning over Johnny and Sacha Distell and Johnny is still rocking.

Gosh ! It was good for me.

What a super book swap and I hope like me every one went away happy with their swaps. I found another Camilleri called The Patience Of the Spider. Not only do I like the stories but I love the art work design of the covers which are attributed to Jeff Fisher. I have promised to pass this one on to John Ainsworth as he missed out on the two I took. Gill Catterall the 'lucky jumper ' has promised to read the two and then pass on to two other people. So books do go around. We have one reader waiting for the return of some Jeffery Deaver he saw being snaffled last time and I am sure they will come around next time. I think the next swap will probably be towards the end of February but I will let you know nearer the time. Happy reading and Happy Christmas swappers.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Help with Holidays

I wondered if you would be kind enough to mention a friend on the BLOG

who is a Travel Consultant.  I know some people have used her before

(here in France) and were very happy with her services and prices.  I've

known her a long time, and would like to try and help her as much as

possible with bookings for any type of holiday.  Many thanks in advance.

Details are :


Company: Travel Counsellors

email :

tel: 0044 (0) 1787 880 288

0044 (0) 7739 394 289 mobile

She is very helpful, finding the best prices, all manner of information

for destinations;  I don't think there is a place she's not been to -

perks of the job I guess........  :-)  and if she hasn't been there, she

will certainly find out as much as possible for you.

So with folks thinking of their holidays in 2012, it may well be worth

an email to see what Sally can offer.  Please mention my name when

getting in touch with Sally.


Karen Sweeting

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Everything but the baby

Baby’s equipment. Bargain: 20 € each!
Please contact Ingrid at 05 63 64 94 67

1) “Deck chair” = un transat
- réglage sur plusieurs niveaux
- toile pour parer le soleil / lumière
- forme à bascule pour bercer le bébé
- anses de portage

2) Infant/child car seat = un siège auto évolutif
- de type 1 : 9-18kg
- coussinet amovible
- 3 niveaux réglage de la hauteur des sangles (au-dessus des épaules)
- rapide et facile à attacher
3) a babytrotter = un trotteur
- très stable
- avec volant et jeux sonores intégrés
- 3 niveaux de réglages de la hauteur
- pliable facile pour rangement compact
4) a pushchair with its baby’s cosy = une poussette + cosy
- poussette au pliage ultra rapide, avec rabat à fenêtre transparente pour voir le bébé dans le cosy, 3 positions possibles quand on enlève le cosy (allongé, demi-allongé, assis)
- filet intégré + spacieux étage de rangement sous le siège
- cosy à bascule (pour bercer bébé quand posé par terre), avec toile de protection contre la pluie / soleil
5) a table chair - une chaise haute
6) a playing park - un parc
7) playing rug - un tapis d’éveil

Isla the brave 3 legged dog needs a home for Christmas.

 I have been fostering Isla  for almost 6 months for a dog refuge but I just cannot keep her
 and she needs her forever home.
 Isla is about 3 years old and is learning to live and trust again.
She is house trained and good with people and other dogs and cats.
Yes ! she has a few hang ups but who would not after being chained by your leg,
 getting gangrene and ending up having your leg amputated!!! So Isla has 3 legs
but it does not stop her - she is amazing, keeps up with my terriers, swims
like a fish and adores the water and loves a cuddle.
 She is scared of brooms, mops etc. and is a bit anxious when you first try to
 put her on the lead but is now so much better. She has gained confidence, as you
can see loves my cats, has met a few children and is OK. Her  recall has
 improved greatly and in fact  she will make a great pet. 

 I am going back to the UK for 3 weeks and she cannot come with me so I would
 really like a forever home for Isla but if not someone who could care and
 love her whilst  I am away.
Photo to follow
Please contact me Jo Stephens on tel 05 65 29 88 56 or email fro more info. at      Joanne Stephens <>      

Donkey Refuge at Montaigue de Quercy

Liberte des Anes, a donkey refuge situated at La Sirence Montaigue de Quercy is holding an open day on Thursday 8th of Dec.Also on Wednesday 7th they are holding a fashion and jewellery sale in aid of funds. Click on their website below for more information.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Occitan Carols at Cazals

The Cazals Festivals Committee, the Saint Antonin Singing Workshop and the

Trio Nou Surres [We Sisters] invite you to a concert of Occitan Christmas

carols on Sunday,

11 December at 16h00 at the church in Cazals.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Who makes loose covers?

Does anyone know of someone who makes loose covers for chairs or sofas ? If so please contact Jill Spearman on tel. 05 63 26 45 57 or email
I have been asked this question before so I am sure we have other readers who would like to know . Someone suggested going to Ikea and buying  their covers as an option.