Saturday, 30 June 2012

Old treadle sewing machine needs TLC

I have an old treadle sewing machine which I would like to get serviced and working again. Any ideas of who I could ask to look at it ? Replies to Pippa Nuttall

Fifi celebrates a first very successful year

Friends in France International have just celebrated their first year and are those ladies having fun. Want to know more? Check out their website and their newsletter for July /August

Whatever next?

Linda Hatfield's dog, Rupert, now has his own blog.

Take a look:

Our dog Bonny thinks he looks quite a handsome chap, whilst Twister thinks he looks a bit of a Toff, not a proper dog. Bonny tells me she will be reading Rupert's blog when Twister is not looking.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Book Swap reminder / Monday 2nd July

The bi-monthly book swap will be at the Gazpacho on Monday morning 10.30 onwards. Come and swap your books for others, all at no charge.

Reminder for the Choir of Parisot , Sat 8.30pm

The Choeur de Parisot (which started up after the successful Carol Service last Christmas) is having its debut concert this Saturday 30th June at 8.30, in the Church at Parisot.  Entry free, although donations accepted after if we sing well enough to earn them! Glass of wine courtesy of the Mairie afterwards, hopefully outdoors if the weather holds. Début concert pour le Choeur de Parisot, à l'Église, Parisot 20h30 Samedi 30 Juin.  Entrée gratuit, Verre de vin grâce à la Mairie après. Venez nombreux!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Espinas, choir in the Church

Packed out to listen to a lovely choir. Photo sent by  Marie  Bernadatte Curato, who we hear is a tireless organiser on the Fete committee at Espinas.

Look on this website to find information of a local charity who work so hard trying to help children in Mali. In an earlier post I pictured a beautiful door which is being auctioned to raise money for this association. Today we had a visit to The Jardin De Quercy at Cambou, near Verfeil sur Seye and for the next 3 weeks the door is on display there with a chance to buy your raffle tickets. Could be a double whammy, you get to see the beautiful Jardins which are full of floribunda roses at this time of year and view the door. To look around the gardens is a reasonable 5 euros which Jean Donies and his partner donate to various African charities at the end of the year. The website has a button click for English so no problem with comprehension. So often we worry if the money is going where it should. This association keeps a close eye on where the money goes and the founders are so philanthropic they do not take money for their trips and visits. Gill Catterall also has tickets for sale and she can be contacted at 0563539945 The Domaine de Sautou is on our doorstep at Castanet and I am going to ask them to let TAG know as events they plan come up. The Domaine de Sautou can be contacted by tel. 0563 57264 or email I have raised 100 euros from the TAG adverts and I am going to send this to them now. I heard Gill say that street children of 3 years old, who have no carers go to the centres for food on a night and safe shelter. What sort of world do we live in when we allow children to live like that?

Two children found dead in pool

Two missing children have been found dead in a swimming pool in the Bordeaux area. Looking up statistics makes one aware of the problem. Children between 1 and 4 are most at risk of deaths in their own pools. A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child. A child needs to be discovered with in 2 minutes of falling in. In 86% of deaths the child is discovered after 10 minutes. Last year our roll out safety pool covers motor stopped working. We had a nightmare not being able to get it fixed for the season and ended up using an alarm. That was less than useless as it went off all the time with the wind, especially through the night. The alarm going off set the donkeys braying and the dogs barking ! Peaceful life in the countryside. Back to the serious note, we must try to protect those children around the pool.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Brocante, Vide Grenier, Vide Garage, Laguepie

Sunday 15th of July and Sunday 19th of August , the big brocante days Inscriptions and info. to 0563302034. In a few days time, forgotten when they are? Go to Events label and there will be the information. I find myself looking to see what is on some week ends.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Bet there are some interesting replies to this post!

Architect recommendation needed

Can anyone recommend, preferably through personal experience, an efficient,

and creative, architect to do plans for a barn conversion?

Please either ring Diana Jackson on 0563263118 or email

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Cooking pots need attention.

Does anyone know where I could get my tin lined copper pans re- tinned? Please contact Jill Spearman

Bert's Concert in Varen

Wednesday 8th of August, a classical concert free ( but with the hat passed around) in the Halle at 21 hrs .In the Salles des Fetes if raining. Bert Pelzer Dutch by nationality ,his daughter Yanna and her partner Serge. all classically trained muscians have a summer home in Varen. We are the lucky ones to profit from this association with the village. Last year in the Halle the moon was high above the square with a midnight blue sky as the most exquisite music was played. You know one of those memorable evenings. We took our own folding chairs and that proved to be a good idea. I will give another reminder nearer the time,as if you live anywhere near do try and go.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

French too Patriotic to decamp to Britain

Gallic Ministers insist that the French rich are too patriotic to decamp to Britain when the new tax increases for the rich are brought in, affecting a very small minority ( I read 4,000) One wonders about the hundreds of French already living and working in London. Report in the Telegraph.

Najat Vallaud - Belkacem

The new 34 year old Minister for Women's Rights who has a brief to tackle sexism and harassement post DSK. Born in Morocco but arrived in France age 4 years old , she holds dual nationality.( so that makes one think you are allowed dual nationality ) When she was a young Minister hosting a party in a bourgeois area in Lyon she opened the door and the guest handed her his coat, then looked around for the Minister.His attitude, any young woman who opens the door with a dark skin must be a servant. A very interesting article given by her in the Guardian to Angelique Chrisafis. Certainly a rising star and some one to watch.
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem

Check your speed

Cameras which clock your average speed over several kilometres came to France on the 20th of June. Starting for a trial period with 2 cameras, the nearest to our area being on the RN21 at Pujols in Lot et Garonne. It is expected that 40 more will be installed before the end of the year.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Walking Tour of St. Antonin

I will be doing my walking tours of St Antonin in English on Thursdays in July and August.  Dates are July 05, 12, 19, 26 and August 02, 09, 16 and 23.  Price is still the same at Euros 5 per person and the tour starts at 10.45 from the Tourist Office.  Clare Hansom tel 05 63 56 93 88

Fetes Medievales du Grand Fauconnier

At Cordes sur Ciel 14th and 15th of July. A programme rich in spectacle and getting dressed up in medieval costume is the thing to do. There used to be a shop in the centre of Cordes that hired costume. Not sure if it is still there so let me know if you know. Info at or tel. 0563563463

Festival des Chateaux de Bruniquel

20th of July to 7th of August The yearly homage to Jacques Offenbach. Go for the concert and if you do not mind a very late night stay for the meal afterwards and enjoy the artists putting on a more impromptu show. Renseignements 0563331877 or oe

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Inheritance Law Queries

The post on Inheritance Law was taken from The Connexion Newspaper, who in July are doing an in depth look at this question with two legal experts answering readers questions. One of our readers says he has checked with a lawyer in England and they were unsure if this story was valid. I will keep researching and update information as it appears. I googled 'Council of the European Union, Inheritance Law' and quite a lot of stuff comes up all confirming this law has been passed. One lawyer in England says it still needs to be confirmed but as there was no date on his post I was not clear if this was an old posting. However as we still have to wait till 2015 before it comes in to play we have time to discover the reality. There is a lot of interest in this story as it affects many of us wishing to have control of our estates, as in English law. We know of many people especially second marriages that when one partner dies , the other partner has had to split the estate with children. We know of two couples who thought it was all cut and dried only too late to discover French Inheritance Law over ruled. We will keep following the news on this one.

Guide de l'ete

A guide to Festivals and tourism in Midi pyrenees is available now from your local tourist office, or view

Personal Fitness Trainer Wanted

Personal Fitness Trainer wanted for 2 weeks from about 4th of August. Contact Iga Rewse Davies of Varen. tel.0563648685 or email

Monsters wanted / end of July

Has anyone got a reading copy or paperback of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and a copy of the same title in French, Max et les Maxi Monstres. We are putting on a performance on Tuesday 31st of July here at Mas Del Sol 'Wild Things' at 6.30 pm. Entrance fee at the gate 2 euros. A tribute to Maurice Sendak who died this year and raising funds for 'Liberte des Anes'. If you have children here or Grandchildren on holiday contact the Production Director( me) if they would like to be a Monster. We will also need a biggish drum to make a racket and someone who can play the flute. Val

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Hostages out safely, gunman shot

The four hostages have been released and the young gunman tried to set fire to the bank. At this point elite forces from Marseille shot and wounded the deranged man. What a terrifying experience for the hostages.

Al Qaeda militant holds hostages in Toulouse

This morning a man claiming to be a Al Qaeda militant has taken a number of people hostage in a bank in Toulouse. A shot has been fired but gendarmes do not yet know if any one is hurt. The neighbourhood around the bank has been cordoned off and it appears to be quite near to the home of Mohamed Merah, the militant killed in a stand off not many weeks ago. More on this story as it emerges what is happening.
In the few minutes since writing this it is now clear there are 4 hostages
3.30pm And the news is the 26 year old man is a schizophrenic who has stopped his treatment. He was set to rob the bank when it all went wrong. The Director of the bank and 3 employees are being held. A hostage negotiator is speaking to the gunman at the moment says a Police Union spokesman.

Champions of the World / Vol Libre

A report in the Depeche / Aveyron tells us that the 'Montgolfieres' ( named after the brothers who took the first balloon flight ) went off with out accident on the Sunday at Najac and all balloons went up and came down safely. The Champion of the World for Vol Libre, Francois Messine and the second champion Patrick Legendre who lives in Loupiac, were flying on the day. Both are going to the USA in August for the World Championships for 2012.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Final plant clearance / opens 10am

Just to let you know that I am having a final plant sale this weekend Sat & Sun 23rd/24th where I will be reducing the plants to clear!
Terry Tippett   Parisot                                    
Terry signs post well from Parisot to her market garden    tel 0563 24 21 46

Going to Rodez on the 27th June?

Is there anyone going to Rodez on the 27th of June for the flight to Stansted?
Contact Christine Gee if you are
I have put it on the airport run information also. 

Tour de France, watchers tips

Advice for watchers. A group of us have been going to watch the TdF for number of years now. Over that time we've worked out that the best way to  watch is as follows: 
Choose your town where the TdF is starting. Usually the one closest to us. (We don't recommend watching along the route because all you see is brightly colored riders whiz by at a rate of knots. Additionally, unless you camp out very early the police won't let you get your car close at all.)
Go to the start. They don't start that early in the morning so you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn. Once in the starting town you can visit the shops to buy hats, t-shirts & whatnot as mementos. You can also visit the park where all the racing bikes are. You can get pretty close to them & the riders. Next you want to chose a spot where they will be riding by; you wait there for the 'caravan' (this is cars & trucks representing the sponsors) they'll have pretty girls throwing out goodies; bottles of water, candies, cheap hats & so forth. After the caravan the riders will appear. At this stage they're going slowly so you get a good look (I saw Lance Armstrong at a distance of three feet one year!)
Having done all of that its time for lunch. Over the years we've had some great lunches in the TdF towns. Surprisingly not many of the French book lunch so getting a table has never been an issue. 
We've always found it to be a nice day out. This year, unfortunately, the closest starting town isn't all that close
David Hatfield

Next book swap at St. Antonin

The first Monday in July is 2nd of July, so that is when the next book swap will be. As usual 10.30am at The Gazpacho. For new readers you take along good quality paperbacks or hardbacks which you do not mind not seeing again and take away books you would like to read. In 2 months time they go back again for another swap. I have got a nice little cachet of new titles having had visitors who have left novels behind. I will give another reminder just before the date

Taxes up for top end earners

David Cameron caused a stir on Monday by offering a red carpet to the French top end earners. Michel Sapin, Minister of Employment retorted 'Un Tapis sur l'eau prend l'eau' Malc things they could easily go through the tunnel. In all the sondage (polls) the French people are in favour of these taxes

Monday, 18 June 2012

Tour de France 2012

The route
Running from Saturday June 30th to Sunday July 22th 2012, the 99th Tour de France will be made up of 1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,497 kilometres.
These stages have the following profiles:
  • 9 flat stages
  • 4 medium mountain stages - one with a summit finish
  • 5 mountain stages - two with a summit finish
  • 2 individual time-trial stages
  • 1 prologue
  • 2 rest days

Distinctive aspects of the race

The 2012 Tour de France will have 25 mountain level two, level one or highest level mountain passes or summit fi nishes.
They will be divided up geographically in the following way:
  • 1 in the Vosges
  • 3 in the Jura
  • 4 in the Swiss Jura
  • 6 in the Alps
  • 11 in the Pyrenees

9 new stage towns

Abbeville, Annonay Davézieux, Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, La Planche des Belles Filles, Peyragudes, Porrentruy, Samatan, Tomblaine, Visé
In Tarn and Garonne the towns to be visited will be Castelsarrasin, Montauban and Valence d'Agen on Friday 20th of July

And now the work begins

The Socialist party won 314 of the 577 parliamentary seats, giving it an absolute majority in the national assembly. The party also controls the upper house, the senate, as well as most regional councils and the authorities in France's major cities. A record 155 women were elected to parliament.

All you need in the labelling

Some may say 'why does she need to say that?', well I know how many ladies, [oops] people have asked and have not noticed different labels away from the main body of text. New headings at the top of the page now have news, gites, houses for sale and restaurants. Click on each of these to see the relevant information.
Very useful is the new 'Labels' section at the right hand side of the page. For example you need to know the name of a transport company who delivers to France. You know you have seen it in TAG but you think it was in an old post and so you will have to phone or email me. Now do not  get me wrong I like speaking to my readers  but a simpler way is to click on 'Services ' and there will be the information. Or you have visitors coming for the week end and you wonder what is on , click on 'Events' et voila. Another question 'How do we contact you?' Look in 'Contact me' in those very same side labels and there are the details.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Rabbits and Roosters

3 months old roosters for sale, 10 euro each. They are friendly and used to being handled, 3 white and 1 black/brown
Also for sale, baby rabbits, flemish giants, will grow very big, all colours, 10 euros each, to good 'pet' homes only!
Contact Anke  email

Hollande wins an absolute majority

The French Socialist Party has won an absolute majority in the National Assembly according to the Ispos Polling Institute.

Choir at the church at Espinas

Chers amis
 profitez d'un beau dimanche pour venir écouter de beaux airs en l'église d'Espinas. Un choix d'airs de la Renaissance à nos jours, par la chorale Vox Populi, qui nous vient de Roquesérière (31).Le 24 juin à 17heures.
Dix-sept choristes dirigés par Yves Poncet.
M.Bernadette Curato

Balloons down over Varen

Well worth the early rise to be in the fields at Najac for 7 am. I enjoyed seeing the work needed and all the intricacy to get the balloons up flying. The people hanging on to  lines to hold everything down till the final shout from the basket of being ready. Lots of photos taken and then back home for croissants ( bakery open but not the cafe) Arrived home to find two balloons down in a nearby field and racing to our balcony which has a view down over Varen saw 6 balloons struggling to stay in the skies till one by one they found fields to come down in. The air was very still and we can only assume that lack of wind was the problem. Did this happen in ' Around the World in 80 Days?' The 8 or so that came down must only have had flights of approx an hour to an hour and a half, but what views they must have had. Cannot stop mentally singing 99 Red Balloons.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Choir of 40 at Parisot

Inaugural concert of the Choeur de Parisot with 40 choristes under the direction of Peter Nowfel, in the Church at Parisot on Saturday 30th June at 20h 30. A mélange of music from Rameau to Rutter. Contribution libre / donations please and more info. if needed from the Mediatheque, Parisot tel. 05 63 27 75 79 Everybody welcome

Fete at Teysseroles for Church Restoration Fund

  A fête to take place on Sunday 24th June at the beautiful 15th-century chapel of Teysseroles in the commune of Parisot (2km SW of the village on the Parisot-Caylus D84 road just before the hamlet of Les Boutiques). The fête is in aid of the chapel restoration fund. Last year we attracted 180 people and hope to have even more this year. Reservations tel. 05 63 65 71 62 or 06 14 93 40 52
11hrs  Messe en plein air
12.30  Aperitif et Repas Champetre
15 euros for members of the Assoc. and 18 euros for non members.

Photo opportunity tomorrow at Najac

Hot air balloons over Najac tomorrow morning starting between 6.30 am and 7am. We are going and then having coffee and croissants afterwards in Najac. The meteo is showing sunny, clear skies.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Inheritance Law Changes

A new EU regulation which will enable expats in France to bypass French Inheritance Laws and opt for the laws of their country of nationality. These changes will take effect this month but not be in practise till 2015

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Two days or go to gaol

What are we to make of the article pointed out to us in today's Mail on Line? Is it the Mail's usual xenophobic ranting or are the French tax authorities really "gunning for British expats"?
Looking closely at the article it is actually about the need to complete one's French Tax Return by 15th June (21st in Tarn and T&G for on-line declarations) and to include all the details needed for ISF (commonly called wealth tax).
The article is studded with words and phrases designed to scare the reader - or delight the UK based frog haters. "Stealth ploy to squeeze extra tax from foreigners"; "in a matter of days"; "a 10000 euro fine"; "could result in imprisonment"; "chaos and confusion amongst expats"; "fear is spreading ..the penalties are big bucks"; and those with wealth over 1.3m euros will have to pay wealth tax of 0.25 and 0.5% and, shock horror, wealth includes those trusts designed to mitigate tax, which are "an Anglo-Saxon thing ..little understood in France."
Most of the expats I know have already completed their tax returns and have absolutely no fear of ISF and those to whom the tax may apply may well have always known about it as they have advisors who knew about the changes introduced by the Sarkozy government. Apparently the Mail thinks that when socialist Hollande ousted Sarkozy everything was "flung into the air". In fact Hollande has been quoted as wanting to reduce the  cut off back to 800,000 euros as it was in previous years, but as yet no action has been taken.

Expats choosing to live in France have always been aware that ISF existed and living here means accepting the French way of life, including taxation laws. In short, "you makes your choice and you pays your money".

Malcolm Johnstone

The link below may not be suitable for the rich of a nervous disposition.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Vente aux encheres / public auctions

As an antiquarian bookseller in England I frequently went to auctions which were great fun. Here in France an auction is called a ' vente aux encheres ' One auction house we have used here is Primodeco in Toulouse. The auctions are a bit different to those in England in that if you bid a winning amount on an object, you need to give a signed cheque straight away and the article is given to you at that point. Everything is very fast and a bit confusing so it is worth visiting one first before plunging in. From time to time there are auctions at Montauban, but Toulouse is the place for quality. If you take something to sell you may have to wait for a few months till the auctioneer decides which sale he wants to enter the item in. Then expect another wait for the money. From start to finish 6 months is not unheard of. Near some of the auction houses in Toulouse which tend to cluster round the Place St. George are also a little cluster of 'depot ventes' or 'fripperies' These are a bit more up market than the ones round about here and are sometimes worth a browse.

Ban the Corrida

Anti bull fighting campaigners are asking people to send letters of complaint in red envelopes to Francois Hollande at the Elysee to ban the Corrida. There are 11 departments in the South West of France from Nimes to Bayonne, where the bull can be killed. 66% of French people are opposed to the Corrida. More on this story in the Connexion.

Hodgson's Choice

Last night in the Ukraine France drew with England 1-1. I am told it was a good match, France distinctly the better team but England had the better chance to win. England fielded very young players. According to my resident pundits ' the lads done good'.

France's Oldest Woman Dies

Marie Therese Bardet has died 114 years old. Her death came as a shock to her family!

Liberte des Anes, Open days

La Volvene. Montaigu du Quercy
A registered charity started in 2009 to ensure the welfare of donkeys in need. Open day with lunch, everything you can eat for 8 euros.  Sun17th and  Monday 18th June.  We have been before and sampled the lunch and wow! it was delicious. A special day out meeting very gentle rescued donkeys and Jan and Gerrit.      By telephone, call and leave a message. or    email:                                     
 Contact them if you want to go on another  day because you have visitors, they will try and arrange something for you. Those donkeys need feeding and hooves trimming and the costs mount up!

Rocher des Aigles, Eagles Rock. Rocamador

Rocher des Aigles, Rocamador, Lot 46500 tel 0565336545 Open April to Nov. Adult 8 euros, child 5 euros. Open since 1977, more than 400 birds of prey and parrots representing 60 different species. Don't miss the flying displays.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Montricoux, 15th Festival of Trad Musiques

Le Reveil Occitane of Tarn And Garonne organise their 15th Festival with more than 30 musicians participating. Sat.16th of June 21hrs bal Occitane. Sunday 17th Mass Occitan sung by Los Pastorels de Rouergue. Lots of other things happening including a repas so contact the local tourist office for more info.

Christine Lagarde, Beauty or Beast?

Lagarde, Christine (official portrait 2011).jpg
Christine Lagarde former Finance Minister in the Sarkosy Government and now boss of the IMF has caused international outrage after suggesting the beleaguered Greeks might do well to pay their taxes. Christine who earns more than President Obama in her IMF job has a tax free package. I can name a list of men who are 'Christine' supporters including it would seem Robert Peston BBC Business Editor. After a programme on the radio I know one lady  TAG reader who sent a text saying ' You need a bucket of cold water throwing over you when talking about Christine ' Another TAG lady  reader is writing to Christine insisting that if she had any decency she would pay tax, even though she is not obliged to do so. All the chaps though seem to be in her thrall. Read the article in the Guardian on line and decide for yourselves for her or against.

Napoleon was rubbish at English

A one page letter penned in English by Napoleon during his captivity on St. Helena sold at auction in Paris for 325,000 euros. The historic document shows the French Emperor struggled with his linguistic skills needed to speak to his jailors.

Pas une vague rose

Pas une vague rose, ( a pink wave ) I suppose we would say not a landslide, reported on France 2 this morning. The socialists gaining 46.77% of the vote, the right 34.07%. Marine Le Pen against all sondage came first and Jean Luc Melenchon is out. Marine was pleased to see Jean Luc getting the first TVG out. Marine's young niece, Marian Le Pen also came top of her group. The second round is next Sunday 17th. Just read The Guardian and Telegraph report on the legislative election both reporting the Socialists are on course to score an absolute majority.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

First round will set the tone.

Voting for control of 577 seats. Hollande needs to win 289 seats or he will need help from the Green Party and Jean Luc Melenchon. Voting ends at 8pm. to-night.

Four French Soldiers killed

Yesterday a Taliban suicide bomber disguised as a woman in a burqa killed 4 soldiers and injured 5 others in the Eastern Kapisa Province in Afghanistan.

Albi region , biggest house price drop

Seloger property website reports that Albi and the South West Tarn Region has taken the biggest hit on house prices, dropping a massive 18% compared with 3-4% in the Dordogne.

Cash machine at Laguepie

Find below a copy of the letter the Maire of Laguepie has written for those who want to see a cash machine [a DAB, distributeur a billets] in the village after Caisse d'epargne closed theirs in April. Print out, alter the location to Varen or whatever if not resident of Laguepie like us, sign and post to the Credit Agricole address given at the top. It is no use moaning about the lack of a cash point if you are not prepared to fight a little for it. Support the Maire in his efforts on our behalf. The letter can also be picked up from the Town Hall in Laguepie where there are multiple copies on the counter.The address which runs in to the end column a bit should read
Monsieur Lepot
Directeur Credit Agricole
Nord Midi-Pyrenees
219 Avenue Francois Verdier
81000 Albi

Discerning Restaurant review

Two young restaurant gourmets give us their views of The Gazpacho.Click on the Restaurant tab at the top of the page.

The Odd Couple, Strauss-Kahn and Anne Sinclair

A new book has just been released written by 2 journalists who write for Le Monde, Raphaelle Bracque and Ariane Chemin. A vivid account of the rise and fall of one of France's most notorious power couples. Laced with secrets, politics, power and lots of sex. Impossible to put down says the daily paper Le Figaro. Report from France 24 International News. The title of the book is not the Odd Couple, could be 'The Strauss - Kahns '

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Michel and Sebastien Bras, Michelin 3 Star Restaurant

Did you know in the Aveyron there is a 3 etoiles restaurant, Route de l'Aubrac,Laguiole. Tel.05 65 51 18 20 or The Relais and Chateau hotel at Laguiole is 4 star. The Restaurant is apparently rated the 6th best in the world. Has anyone been who would do a restaurant review?

Are you a Bobo?

The French equivalents of Tony Blairs ' Champagne Socialists' in France, Bobo's are apparently well off people who support Francois Hollande. Bobo stands for "Boheme bourgeois"

Friday, 8 June 2012

Les Jardins de Quercy

Les Jardins de Quercy between Varen and Verfeil sur Seye, open from now till the end of September. Entry 5 euros. Follow the red arrows from Varen or Verfeil sur Seye to Cambou.. Once there find plenty of parking and a picnic area in the garden .2.5 acres of private gardens with wonderful  views over the surrounding area.  Worth a visit [ or two ]

The Fortified Abbaye of Loc-Dieu

An ancient fortified, Cistercian Abbey with a romantic Park of  40 hectares with numerous varieties of trees. An extraordinary well preserved Abbey open from 1st of July to 10th of September from 10 to 12 and 14 to 18hrs. [except Tuesday and Sunday mornings]
In very wild country 13 monks came in 1123 and founded the first Cistercian Abbey in Rouergue. From a frightening wood to a place of God, Loc-Dieu. It boasts the first Gothic vault in the area and was fortified during the 100 years war. The French Revolution saw the Abbey and all its property  being sold. After many calamities Loc-Dieu was bought by a family called Cibiel,  who have now restored it to its former glory.

Estivales du Chapeau

The 20th Festival of Hats at Caussade  and Septfonds 12th to 16th of July. Exhibitions  and stands, Concerts and bals, a true carnival atmosphere. Pick up the leaflet from your tourist office  or contact for Caussade
 05 63 26 04 04 .and for happenings at Septfonds  06 89 93 11 08. Mark in your diary  if you have guests here.

La nuit d'Artempo

June 23 rd at Negrepelisse, an evening of Rock and Salsa with the groups 'Blue Shadows'  and 'Ricasalsa'. Starting at 20.00 hrs in the Place Nationale , free entry.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Bible of Emotions

My book , which in Holland is called ‘the bible of emotions’ , is now being released in the US. The liberating power of emotions. All you want to know about emotions and how to handle them to become a more free person. You find it at (Livraison gratuite)
Please send this mail forward to friends or people who could benefit from this book. 

Thanks in advance!  All the best to you! Riet Okken
My website: 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Garage or barn needed to rent / Found now

Needed to rent in or around Varen garage or barn space for about 6 months to a year. Bob and Anne Penning who are having a house built in Varen need some space for motorbike etc. not furniture. Tel 07711655045 or 00447711655045

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Any spinners of wool in the area?

Quote "their wool is free of undesirable black fibres and kemp, and is suitable for handspinning" plus they hold an average spinning count of 58.
 Do we have any handspinners of wool in the area? If so, contact the Shepherd of Sommard. It will soon be shearing time

Bruniquel, Musee Payrol

Come and see on the 16th of June, a collection of brass and antique cooking tools at The Maison Musee Payrol at Bruniquel. We will be giving a demonstration and showing you how to make local pastries cooked on a wood fire. For more info. contact or telephone 0563672523

Ballons et Bastides

Twenty five hot air balloons from all over France, flying through the skies at Villefranche de Rouergue Sat 16th of June. Taking off from the Aerodrome de Graves at 18.30 Another flight the next morning at La Riviere at Najac taking off at 6.30 in the morning and then another flight at Villefranche again at 18.30 For more info phone 0565451318 and the event is organised by 'Vol libre en ballon' I think I would like to get up early and go and take photos of the balloons over Najac, could be quite a spectacle.

Vide Grenier / Brocante Najac 14th July

Going for 30 years, the longest running market of its type in France. To have a stall is 15 euros for 5 metres. If you go on the Rue du Barriou which is on the slope, it is free. I did it last year with some friends, so a piece of advice. Get there about 7 am to set up if you want a good place and to unload with out problems. It is a very busy market and keeps going all day.

Victorian chaise-longue / SOLD

Victorian Chaise-longue, completely re-uphostered, china castors
200 euros
Contact:  Caroline Coles on  or 05 63 26 05 18

Michel Brassac at L' abbaye de Beaulieu

Michel Brassac exhibits his papier mache gargoyle sculptures at L'abbaye until 18th of June.10-12 and 14-18hrs From 24th June to 30th of Sept. will be an exhibition by Antoni Tapies.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Je suis optimiste / cash dispenser at Laguepie

The Maire of Laguepie Jacques Alaux, against difficult odds proclaimed he was an optimist. He said that he would keep on trying to get Credit Agricole to place a cash dispenser in an accessible place in the village. He is going to print letters, which if we go in to the Mairie after Tuesday he will give  us. One for us to sign and some for friends to sign and send off to the given address at Credit Agricole. There was a lot of scepticism that anything could be achieved and many felt putting pressure on the Post Office was a better bet. About 60 residents attended the meeting, many being commercants of the village. I will go in to the Mairie next week and get some of the letters to handout to interested parties.

Fifi has done it again.

Check out the monthly newsletter from Fifi to see what fun they have each month. After only one year they have 96 members and continue providing new and interesting activities. Not just ' Ladies that lunch" although quite a lot of that does go on. I have made a special Fifi label for you to look at and have tel. numbers if you want to join in.

Meal and entertainment at Ginals

Formule repas-concert à Begayne (Ginals) samedi 9 juin à partir de 20h avec Orphé Ogdinitsch.
Il chante les poètes maudits accompagné d’un ange, Maxime Dudebout au piano 
ORPHÉ ÔGDINITSCH (Anagramme de son vrai nom) 
MAXIME DUBEDOUT (Vrai nom de son anagramme)
Un répertoire éclectique où se mêlent Poèmes du 19ème, 20ème siècle (trop peu connus), et textes du chanteur, arrosés par les mélodies illuminées du Pianiste. Non, pas un récital...! Ô ! Une bouteille d’eau de vieS, pleine d’Amour, de révolte, de rêve, de mélancolie... À consommer sans modération ! 
Repas des champs dès 20h30
Tarifs : 12 euros l'adhésion, et le repas
             5 euros pour les enfants
Réservation nécessaire au 06 63 16 79 95 ou par mail
Vous pouvez nous retrouver dès 15h autour d'une bal(l)ade spécialement dédicacée à l'entomologie (étude des insectes) = exposition, spectacle, capture d'insectes.
Lieu : Begayne
82330 Ginals
Itinéraire : A Verfeil , direction Ginals-Abbaye de Beaulieu
tourner à droite direction Paulhac pendant 5km, tourner à droite à Begayne.
Stéphanie Amiot

Association Vallée et co   06 63 16 79 95
Quick translation. Meal and entertainment at Begayne, Ginals. Sat 9th th of June 20hr with Orphe Ogdinitsch [ an anagram of his real name ] He sings poetry accompanied by an angel Maxime Dudebout on piano. Little known poems of the 19th and 20thc set to music. The meal is in the fields at 20.30 hrs, 12 euros and 5 for children. Reservations needed.
If you want to go on an insect walk that starts at 15.00hrs.

Occitan Choir at St. Antonin

Meets Friday afternoon up to 29th of June,15- 16.00hrs. Top floor studio, 18 Boulevard des Thermes. St. Antonin. Gavin Porter can be contacted for more info. on gavinporter@ and there are English singers.

Music Festival at Najac

The 8th Music Festival called ' Nuit des Chiens Bleu' is being kicked off tonight at Najac with a free concert with ' The Hot Chicken Band ' Saturday there will be activities including canoeing, rock climbing and randonnees. At 16.30 there will be a free circus for children ' The Cirque Pacotille' All these festivities round off with a concert at 19.00hrs. tariff 10 euros. Tel 0565658478 for more info.