Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Think twice about shopping in Toulouse tomorrow

Premiere Ministre Israelian Netanyahu is in Paris today but is flying in to Toulouse Blagnac tomorrow with very high security, 300 policiers have been mobilised between 1 and 4pm. He is planning to see some of the victims families of the Merah killings as part of his visit to Toulouse.
Today at 6 pm in the  Place Capitol there will be a manifestation / protest against his visit.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Social charges again

Lucky are those who have only just received demands for social tax, which was invented some years ago when the unemployment rate was 15% - and seemed such a brilliant idea that they went on with it. I am a pensioner with an income below the tax level, but nevertheless I receive a huge bill at this time every year, which has to come out of my savings account. This year & last the amount was 1/3 less - not much comfort as it exactly reflected the drop in my income, which comes from investments.
The tax office have always allowed me to pay in 2 instalments.
On a happier note : for all those who began to receive their state pension after they came to live in France, & who therefore do not get the fuel allowance, someone in Europe has said it's unfair (which it is) & that from now it must be paid. Details & the demand form on Overseas Pensions, heating allowance.
                                                                                              Jenny B., Aveyron
Val says
I cannot see how you can pay social charges when your income is below the tax level Jenny. Unless it is on your investment income. (Are they charging social charge on your pensions ?) Have you had an accountant look at your accounts. I have come round to the fact that paying an expert is going to save you money in the long run.
JENNY says " yes it is on the investment income" 

Laetitia, me and Delia

Well what a wonderful phone call. A lady phoned  from London to  thank me for TAG which she reads everyday  along with checking  Delia's recipe of the day. She has a second home in France and because of special circumstances needed some help to clean  for the winter.  Noticed the post for the wonderful Laetitia,  our cleaning helper and arranged for her to clean the house. The best cleaner she has ever known is how she described her . I cannot wait to see Laetitia and tell her, she will be so pleased. I am also very happy as the lady already supports The Domaine de Sautou but will give an extra  donation at Xmas because of TAG. Wow ! I am so  happy so thank you.

St Antonin Noble Val - Halloween Party

Saturday 3rd Nov. in the Salle des Fetes at St. Antonin there will be a Halloween Party, go in fancy dress, witches, pumpkins etc. There is music and we have heard that one of the guitar players from the Beatles tribute band who were excellent [ now disbanded ] will be playing. That is all the information I have but if you know the time , price, etc. please let TAG know.  Val  email :
Sue says
I believe it's a free event and starts under the Halle at 8.00 pm, they then parade to the Salle des Thermes for 9.00 pm where there is a concert with 'Queen Beach' and DJ's too.

Fancy dress is optional !

Enterprising young student wants information

I met you a few months ago at a Childrens' event at Caylus...while I was teaching people how to catch twigs! As it's now getting a bit chilly round here, I was wondering if you or anyone in your network might know of a coal supplier in the Laguepie for our open fire?
Many thanks,

Val says I do not think anyone uses coal here, we all burn wood. That is unless there 
is somebody who knows a coal supplier. Our wood man delivers to Laguepie, he
 is called
 Klaus Kuhn tel 05 65 29 58 12 or mobile 06 22 66 32 45
Rich, out of interest is with an International group of young people staying and working 
at Laguepie with a group called Citrus. If you have more  information Rich, let me
 know.  Readers will be interested
Charles says      Gautier at Cordes used to sell coal. Maybe still does, je ne sais pas.
Malc has just passed Cordes and popped in to Gautiers and they do sell coal.

Richard   replies       If you're looking for more info, I translated the Citrus website into English a couple of months back:

Monday, 29 October 2012

Book Swap, nearly that time again

Monday morning  10.30 am on 5th of Nov. at The Gazpacho in St. Antonin Noble Val will be the bi-monthly book swap. Come and bring books you do not mind never seeing again and take away a selection of books new to you.  Please ensure books are dry and clean and in reasonable condition.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Do you need help?

I am looking for work in the areas of Najac, La Fouillade, St Andre de Najac, Villefranche etc  . I am RSI registered and am available for general cleaning of homes or gites, gardening and pet care from cats to horses in my home ,References provided . Please contact me for more information   .
Jo Stephens 0565298856

"It always seems impossible until it's done" quote from Nelson Mandela

The Domaine de Sautou have asked if I would publish this form in the hope that some of our readers might give 10 euros a month to feed a child for one year.. the form if your French is not very good may seem a bit complicated but in fact all you need to do is take it into your bank signed and say how much you would like to donate and send the top half to the  Nosals at the Domaine. We tried to do it on line but could not manage that so we will go in to the bank next week. If you do not want to give a monthly sum why not send a cheque made payable to the Association at the address given... and remember Christmas is coming up where we will all be indulging ourselves with food and wine and presents,  whilst children will be starving on the streets in Africa.
Just a thought if you would like to do it but would not know how to print out the form write to Sautou and ask them to send a form to you.

ASSOCIATION VIA SAHEL ENFANTS D'AFRIQUE - Domaine de Sautou 82160 Castanet / Caylus 

Parainage pour L'annee 2013
A nous retourner imperativement par courrier a l'addresse indiquee ci-dessus
Nom                                                                   Prenom


Code Postal                                                        Ville

Numero de telephone                                              Mail

Parainage [ virement bancaire mensuel de 10 euros ou plus] Cette somme permet de nourrir un enfant toute l'annee et de lui envisager un avenir.

Date et signature:


Pour effectuer le virement, pensez a deposer le RIB de L'Association [ ci-dessous] a votre banque pour qu'elle procede au virement automatique mensuel [ frais de banque negociables]

Domicilliation                     FRANCE                                    

CREDIT AGRICOLE      Banque  guichet     n compte       Cle RIB   
CRCAM Midi Pyrenees   11206      00023    45261615403      29        

Bank identification code [BIC]             Etranger uniquement
  AGRIFRPP812                                 International Bank Account. Number [BAN] 
                                                                   FR76 1120 6000 2345 2616 1540 329 

Association Via Sahel Enfants d'Afrique et de Bamako

Simon Carlier and his Toulousain Restaurant

An ex candidate in French Masterchef 3 Simon Carlier is hoping to welcome us to his Restaurant at Toulouse called  "Solides" which can be found at  49 Rue Pargaminieres, Toulouse Tel 0670818571  The restaurant seats  16 and lunches are 16 euros and 25 euros  for evening meals.
For the person who asked  " tell me more" google him as there is loads about him on the net.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Poppies, Lest we forget.

I  have a supply of poppies - just arrived.  I can be contacted on 05 63 63 26 

Economical and practical car for sale

FOR SALE:  Citroen Berlingo II,  1.6HDi. 110cv Multispace 9,750 ono

Left hand drive, registered June 2008 (one owner), diesel, manual, 120,000km, full service history.  Controle technique passed June 2012.
ABS, airbags, cruise control, limiter, electric windows and mirrors, aircon, radio and CD.  5 seats – 3 individual rear seats (easily removable for extra space), 5 doors – 2 rear sliding doors for easy access, tinted rear windows, velour interior.
Very comfortable, roomy, economical and practical car. Return to UK forces sale.  
Email:        Tel: 05 63 26 48 33

Artists to be credited wanted

I am now raring to go on my idea for doing two things, promoting artists work in the area and keeping the plight of African children in your minds. Artists, I want you to design a vertical frieze to run  in the area under the picture of me. The theme has to be Africa and the plight of the children of war torn Mali. I will give each artist who designs a frieze not only a credit for the work but a chance to promote your work, a bit about yourself and where people may see your work exhibited and how they can contact you. Not to be sniffed at when you think of the high number of hits TAG is now achieving each day. So that is one of the things you gain as an  artist along with knowing we may be helping raise money for this worthwhile  charity Domaine de Sautou raising  money for the children of Mali. The frieze will be in place for one month and at the end of a year I will  try and arrange an exhibition of all the work.

Two year old Bassett Hound needs rehoming

Dear Val,

all the best information is gleaned at the Hairdressers don't you

think? Yesterday at the Salon in St Antonin I was talking to a French

lady, she is looking to re home a two year old Bassett Hound, her own pet who

she can't look after anymore due to Ill health. He is male. I have her

contact details so if any of your readers would like to contact her, if they
call me I will give them her name and telephone number.Thank you

Margaret Atkins

Folk / Jazz Evening Thursday 1st Nov.

Thursday 1st of Nov. is the Folk / Jazz Evening at Le Riols Salle des Fetes, kicking off at 8 pm sharp. This time we have decided you might like a table, so as long as you help us put out and put away the tables and chairs then that should work. Charles and Anna and myself will be there from 7.30 pm so that gives you time to arrive and be in your seats for the start. Once again bring your bottles and glasses and eat before you come. Look forward to seeing you on the night.

Why the long letter below.

About a week ago I phoned Michael Annett , tax advisor to ask for help on these worrying  for many, social charge issues.
 He explained in detail everything he has  now set out in his letter, well was I  going to remember all that! I talked him into putting it in writing for TAG , something he was initially loath to do as he had once been unfairly lambasted in an online forum. I explained TAG was a community magazine and not an online forum , hence the letter.
What I ended up feeling from his words of wisdom is you need a very knowledgeable accountant or tax adviser  His letter is long and I have had to import it into microsoft word to get it to fit in to the format of TAG
I sent an email yesterday to Di Hope saying she was right the charges are unjustified but maybe she was quoting the wrong bit of legislation and I loved part of her reply below.

I will naturally keep you posted on developments and any authoritative advice I receive from official sources.  In the meantime, I'm going to concentrate on more entertaining things like bottling sloe gin and making mincemeat.  If I get thrown in jail for refusal to pay taxes, I'll get very drunk before I go!!  And thanks for that advice about the TV - James came quickly, spent a very hot time on the roof in the blazing sun and I can get my daily quiz show and soap fix again!
Di Hope

Reply from a Taxation Advisor with the Company Pelican Consulting

Dear Mrs. Johnston,
 Further to our discussion this morning, some comments for you.
With all best regards,
Dr. Michael Annett     [ ]

Social charges on pensions
Firstly, there is absolutely no relation whatsoever 
between the healthcare system (e.g.. CPAM) and the social 
charges on pension income.
There is an exemption from some of the social charges on
 pension income if not a liability to the French social security
 system as a whole.  As far as healthcare was concerned, the only 
way in which to show non-liability to the system was to show the
 E121, now the S1, since this confirmed that all healthcare costs
 were paid by the person's host country social services.
Accordingly, the relation is between the E121/S1 and some of the
Social charges.
The general exemption from social charges on pension income
 stems ONLY from having an EU State Old Age pension, since social
 charges cannot be applied to income which is being paid due to
 social charges themselves having formerly been paid.  This exemption
 has been extended by the EU to all pension income in the case of 
British nationals resident in France.
The Franco British double tax treaty
This has been the cause of many issues, mainly due to tax 
offices applying the Treaty's provisions a year earlier than
 they should have.
Essentially, as far as International Treaties are concerned,
 there is a master international treaty that states that, unless
 otherwise indicated in a particular Treaty, the effective date of 
entry into force of a Treaty is the last date on which the countries
 party to that Treaty legally ratified it.
The Franco-British Treaty, pursuant to this start date system, 
can be seen to therefore become applicable from the 1st
 January 2010.
However, article 31 of the new Franco-British double tax
 treaty clearly states that the Treaty will become effective only
 once both countries have terminated their relevant legal 
procedures for bringing the Treaty into effect.  Then the the 
same article confirms the applicable date of the Treaty for France 
being the start of the following tax year.  French civil
law states that no law can be effective until it is 
published in the 'Journal Officiel', which, in the case of the
 Treaty was not effected until January 2010.  This being later 
than the UK's date of completion of its legal requirements means
 that the applicable date of the provisions of the Treaty is the 
start of the following tax year - 1st January 2011.
Changes in the new Franco-British double tax treaty
The Treaty did not change the manner in which income was
 generally assessed, but it did change the manner in which 
the French assimilated the effect of the foreign-assessed income,
 the new system resulting in a tax credit being given on 
this income.

Essentially, the new system is that world income is assessed
, and French tax calculated in the normal manner.  This total
 tax is then expressed as a percentage of the assessable income.
  Then, this tax percentage is applied to the foreign-assessed 
income in order to provide the tax credit to which the taxpayer
 is due.
Changes in the manner in which foreign-assessed income is
 Declared Foreign-assessed income, such as government income and
 foreign rentals, are declared in section VI of the pink 2047 form,
 and then transferred to box 8TK on the main blue 2042 form.
Issues with the tax office on pension, government and foreign
 rental income
The first point to bear in mind is that, just as with every
 country, the French tax forms are intended for French nationals
 declaring their income.These forms are not specifically designed
 for foreigners or income that falls under the provisions of a double
 tax treaty. Therefore, whilst a French national would declare
 income in section VI of the pink 2047 form, this is then, yes,
 liable to the social charges.
However, a foreign national declaring, for example,
 UK rental income, in the same section of the form, would not be
 liable to the social charges.
So there is a conflict in the manner in which income
 is to be treated.
Sadly, the provisions of the double tax treaty came into
 effect before the tax authorities changed their computer systems,
 causing many incorrect assessments.
However, article 6 of the Treaty which covers foreign
 rental income does still quite clearly state that this income
 is assessable in the UK.  Full stop.  Accordingly, it is not
 assessable and cannot be assessed in France.
As a result, is not and cannot be made liable to the
 social charges.
Furthermore, and as a safety clause, article 24 which deals
 with the double tax provisions, states equally clearly that
 in order to compute French taxation the foreign income will
 be taken into account - but note that the expression is
 'taken into account', and not 'assessed'.  The article then
goes on to state that it is not the UK tax paid that is
 taken into account by the French, but French tax computed in
 the French manner ... and hence the tax credit as
 mentioned above. Incidentally, the French tax credit applies 
whether or not UK tax has been paid.
So, clearly, not only is their no right to assess foreign rental
 income in France, this is confirmed by the manner in which
 the French account for this income as part of the
 taxpayer's world income.
Now, one reason for which the tax office may apply the
 social charges can be pursuant to their view of mitigating
 tax evasion and in order to raise an objection from the taxpayer
 as to the assessment dues ... so as to then be able to ask for
 Proof that the rental income has been declared to the UK tax
authorities (since too many people don't, in the belief that
 this is not necessary).
Contentions with the tax office
One word of warning, as the procedure for complaints and 
Rectifying incorrect assessments is fairly defined, you should
 use a professional as frequently taxpayers initially try themselves
 before seeking profession help, only by then things are
 frequently too advanced for the tax authorities to accept
 possibly being in the wrong, to then only confirm prior 
decisions, and the whole process is then geared to only 
being solved in court.
Finally, unfortunately this year there have been many errors with 
the tax assessments.
   Dr. Michael Annett    
Diverses qualifications professionnelles britanniques
 Comptabilité, Fiscalité, Droit, Finance et Gestion de 
Patrimoine Université Aix-Marseille Diplôme Universitaire
 en Gestion de Patrimoine, Master I, Master II et Maitrise 
en Droit, Fiscalité,  Gestion, Finance et  Gestion de Patrimoine  
PELICAN consulting
Consultants in wealth management, financial investments,
 banking operations, finance and mortgages, 
independant insurance brokers and international taxation.

Val says Michael Annett is available to take on your cases 
against the tax authorities  
and he can be contacted at

Friday, 26 October 2012

Last Quiz night of the year at Browns in St. Antonin

Just to let you know that next Wednesday will be the last quiz night for this year, I'll let you know when they start up again in the Spring.
Sue Coombs

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Painter and decorator needed

Can anyone recommend a painter and decorator please for Eileen Davidson of Varen. Please send replies to  TAG for general information which can then be passed to Eileen.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Montauban tax office under pressure

Hi Val
I was told that you have been covering the new social charges issue in Taglines, so forgive me if you have already dealt with these points.
I also received a hefty demand last week and have been exploring how to be exempt from it. It seems that those who obtained their carte vitale through the Newcastle pensions office, via an E121, should not be charged again. CPAM apparently log all use made of each individual carte vitale, bundle them together and send them to the UK for reimboursement. I shall shortly be showing these documents to Montauban and hope they will correctly interpret the rules. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Martin and Linda Feeney's Fund raising for Macmillan Cancer Research

Further to my telephone conversation with your husband this morning I write to confirm receipt of your World's Biggest Coffee Morning donation of £450, a fantastic amount that is very much appreciated. 
A formal thank you letter will be posted out to you, unfortunately we are a little behind with getting these out as we had a record number of registrations for coffee morning this year which is great as hopefully this will mean that we raise more than the £10m you helped us to raise last year.
I can also confirm that I have passed your husband's comments regarding overseas registration on to our coffee morning team.
If you need any information in respect of our services, campaigns or fundraising please let us know.
Zoe  Tebbutt
Fund Raising Support Centre

Anyone going to Ipswich in the near future ?

 Could  you ask on TAG if anyone is going to Ipswich in the near future. I need a banjo delivering to Leiston which is about 45 minutes away from Ipswich.
Charles Ketteringham

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Chris agrees with Malcolm

Quite agree Malcolm.  

Not sure people always recognise that paying French Social Charges is unconnected with health care provision - it's just another form of taxation, aimed at reducing the French welfare debt.  I'd be towards the front of the queue appealing an incorrect charge; and yes, it must be very worrying to have that to face.  

Makes me want to remind people about Help in Quercy, the very flexible assistance service offered by our young friend Emmanuelle Dangé Manella from Puylaroque.
Val says 
This lady can be found in the label translators

You are not alone and we can achieve good things.

One of the benefits of  TAG is all the people, many of them single who received these  huge tax demands would never have known the extent of the problem with out TAG. There is something comforting in knowing it is going to turn out to be a mistake from Montauban. I think this is even more clear when you realise all of the people who have contacted us are from Tarn and Garonne and not other departments.
OK so now I have made you grateful you receive TAG I am going to ask a favour of you.
Last night I and a group of English supporters went to the Domaine de Sautou to the AGM and we all came away enthused with ideas to support this worth while charity supporting children in Africa in Mali. This association over 35 years has raised millions of pounds to build a hospital, schools and feed the children of Bameko. This war torn  country fought over by cocaine and arms traffickers means innocent people and children caught up in the horrors can be maimed or killed with impunity. The headquarters of this charity is here on  our doorstep at Castanet giving us a chance to get involved.
When I get the computer back I am going to publish a form which gives you the opportunity to give 10 euros a month to this charity. Now 10 euros  relates to about 3 cups of coffee in bars to us but you cannot believe how far 10 euros can go in the right hands in Mali - it can feed a child for year.
We also have plans with our home cinema ( bought from TAG, and we now have a donation of 20 euros for Mali from that sale) to host Gala evenings of opera and ballet with the proceeds going to the charity.
Another idea I want to consider, at the side of the posts on TAG as they run down the page is a blank column, under the picture  of me. I  do not want to consider advertising yet but I am going to ask artists to create a vertical design to run in this column with the theme being Africa, Mali and focusing on children. Each month this frieze can change with each artist being credited and perhaps at the end of the year having a vote for the most imaginative. I hope by doing this we can raise money by having the association constantly in our minds.
I know many artists read this blog so please get designing and then forward your frieze to me.  As I say this frieze can change monthly giving you as an artist the chance to display work and help children at the same time.
Phew! If you have read all that with out yawning thank you .

Problems with computers

Please bear with me over the next week as our main computer has broken down and is being mended. I am managing with my ipad but only just and it is a trial trying to do anything very complicated. So if there are errors it is because once pasted I cannot change them, so I will allow you to tutt tutt as long as you understand the reason.

All power to Dianne, we know she is right

I too have received my first-ever demand from the tax authorites for a large sum in social charges.
I arrived in France in 2007 in receipt of a Civil Service pension but not the State Pension. I have never had to pay social charges on my civil service pension, (which is declarable but not taxable in France) apart from a sum relevant only to health care which has been levied by CPAM and payable to URSSAF (not to the Tresor Publique).  This payment stopped when I started receiving the UK State Pension and submitted my Form S1. So I believe my problem lies within the tax office at Montauban, not CPAM. 
I began receiving the State Pension in the 2011 tax year and declared it in my tax return.  I have suddenly been clobbered for CSG at 8.2% and CRDS  at 0.5% on the totality of my pensions and investments. PS of 4.8% has only been applied to my negligible investment income  - which I think is correct.  The other two certainly are not. The charges are unexpected, unwelcome, most likely not lawful and I won't be paying them any time soon!  I make my tax return on line so I haveregistered my objection on line as well.  I said amongst other things that my pensions are  "exoneres(with an accent!) de charges sociales - covention Franco-Britannique sur la double imposition Article 19".  These are the words that Connexion suggested in their guide to completing the tax returns.  I was gratified to see that because I was registering an objection, I could also request deferring payment of the charges.  Of course, if I lose the argument they will clobber me for an extra 10% because of late payment,- but I don't envisage failing.   I'll keep you informed of progress as appropriate.
Dianne Hope
Copy Diane everybody and we think somebody at Montauban is going to have a red face .

Friday, 19 October 2012

The line is hot from Tarn et Garonne, but nothing from Aveyron or the Tarn

 Just reading your comments about social charges on Tag-on-line.

 We have been sent a bill for more that 4,000€, despite both being

 Who do we appeal to and where do we go for expert advice ?

Deirdre and Greg    St. Antonin Noble Val

Tarn or Aveyron readers

Are there people in these Departments who have had large social charge bills,  please let us know as it might just be the CPAM at Montauban.

More about social charges

Just to provide a little perspective, our Social Charges bill arrived yesterday.  However our taxes are handled by an accountant in Bordeaux, Marie-Claude Sampson, and the Social Charges demanded are exactly in line with her estimate, and the arithmetic behind this follows closely that used in the previous six years.
What's important for pensioners is to ensure that the two big Social Charges, the CSG at 8.2%, and the PS at 4.8%, have been applied only to investment income (revenus de capitaux mobiliers) and not to their company or state pensions.  The small Social Charge (the CRDS at 0.5%) has historically been applied to both types of our income, but I notice this year that it, too, has been calculated solely on investment income - probably because I have now turned 65.
Before rushing to appeal, TAG readers ought to look at the calculation on the back of their Avis de Prélèvements Sociaux, relative to the above.

Malcolm says
Clearly if you normally receive a csg bill for a certain amount and this year's is in line then no problem. We usually have a couple of hundred to pay, but not yet received this year's bill.
The people who have signalled that they have received large bills for the first time have queried them and been told that it is based on their total income and they must pay for the health care.
One person I talked to last night also has a French accountant who predicted a bill of about 200 euros as usual, but the bill was 4000 euros.
It seems obvious that unusually large amounts should be appealed. I dont know if it is just Montauban, but pensioners with E121 are not liable to pay these charges on pensions. And the majority of those who have received these bills are not at all wealthy and are worriedabout meeting them.

Hospital info. if you do not have carte vitale

Perhaps something for TAG. Something I've been meaning to mention for ages that everyone may know but we certainly didn't.....would perhaps be valuable for those British French residents who have family and friends to stay or perhaps for advice packs in gites. 

If you're a UK resident carrying a European Health Card and you need to go to a French hospital during your stay then you must go to a public hospital to be able to make a claim from the NHS on your return  - the NHS won't repay costs for treatment or a stay in a private hospital. In our case there was a choice between the Polyclinique Claude Bernard or the Centre Hospitalier d'Albi and, of course in the circumstances, no time to consider the choice in any detail. Fortunately (in all ways) we went for the latter - the diagnostic intelligence, the care and the environment were all top class - and we were able to claim repayment of all costs when we got back (it took ages at this end, lots of paperwork of course, and we had to pay first. The ambulance people took the longest to send a bill).
Sent by Liz Leyland

Storm damage in the area, it is a warm wind tho!

Hello Val,
had a lot of storm damage here last night due to the strong 'vent d'autan' - pool pergola down, pool cover and metal roller in the pool, trees down etc.
Here's some links to news articles that say that the Tarn is still on orange alert today and 30,000 homes without electricity in the Midi-Pyrenees region. (4,500 in Aveyron alone)

Sent by Leila Mclelland
Val says
We have some tiles off the barn,some guttering down and the covering of the shed roof  blown off and we have had other reports of damage in the area.

Beware of excessive social charges

Large bills were received yesterday  by several friends from the CPAM supposedly for social charges. The bills range from 1,000 euros to 4,000 euros. As we understand it if you are a pensioner these amounts are NOT payable. It is important to lodge an official appeal as soon as possible and consult an expert. More on this story to follow.
Following that
Go to the Connexion newspaper site and search " tax queries answered" and you will find the relevant information. Here is part I have copied.
The European Court found that France's social charges were the equivalent to National Insurance  and that it was incorrect to levy social charges on income which was being paid by a taxpayer due to social charges having been paid by them during their working life.
Do not panic everyone and no need to go back to England

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Breathalyzers kits on hold till 2013

I am reading in several online sources that the law requiring everyone to have breathalyzer kits in the car has been postponed till March 2013.
Sent by David Hatfield.
Val says
Yes  I had heard the same thing, as it is so difficult to buy the kits it has been postponed.

Complementary Health Talk

You are warmly invited to an informative, free talk from a qualified therapist, who will be giving an overview of Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Homeopathy and much more. Find out about these wonderful therapies and how they can help you and your family. It will be an informal talk with  questions. Tuesday 23rd. Oct. 2-4 pm Les Cabannes. Refreshments provided. Booking essential
To book a place call Jenny Harris  0563569009
or email

Was after a rabbit, but the horse died

Marie Ange et Robert Bourdette sont des passionnes des chevaux
Marie and Robert are passionate about their horses. Their  stables at Montauban  are a "class" outfit with pure blood Arabs and clients around the world wanting to buy. Clients in the Gulf, Emirates , Qatar, etc.
Certain of the horses they look after for clients are champions like Al Mamun Monlau who won the prestigious  Qatar Arabian World Cup which is worth 700,000 euros.
So the couple were not best pleased when a " chasseur" who has been indentified  went in to one of the horse enclosures shooting in the vicinity of a pregnant mare. The mare subsequently miscarried  and lost her foal worth 150,00 euros. The couple are now pressing their claim against the " chasseur" who was at the time after a rabbit ! A man of  rabbit sized  brain,  me thinks.

Laguiole, you have our support

All the Mayors in the Aveyron met yesterday afternoon in Laguiole to support the small town in their efforts to recapture their name from the entrepeneur / businessman Gilbert Szajner. We have reported this story in an earlier post.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A stitch in time

Just a reminder if you have any garments or curtains etc. that need altering or articles that may need a repair Penny Smith comes with lots of recommendations of good and speedy work.
Penny who lives at Caussade can be contacted on tel. 06 33 78 61 71

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

English architect with French experience

I am Leila McLelland an English architect (and busy mum) living in Saint-Andre-de-Najac near Najac / Laguepie.
I work from home as an independent draftswoman offering an architectural service, producing plans and helping people submit planning applications etc.
I worked for 3 years with a French architect in Saint-Antonin so have lots of experience producing drawings and preparing 'dossiers' for 'Permis de Construire' and/or 'Declaration Prealable de Travaux'.
Could you mention me on your blog please?
My blog is:
My tel. number is 0565658483
mobile 0624897960
and contact
Val says comes with good recommendation

Monday, 15 October 2012

Foreign Encounters at Parisot

TAG readers might be interested in this launch. It features some local authors: Vanessa Couchman and five members of my FiFi Creative Writing Group: myself, Judith Reynolds, Dorothy Norman and Wendy Long - who have all wriiten humourous pieces about life in France, and Hazel Armfield who has a tale about Singapore.That's quite an achievement given that there were around 300 submissions from all over the world.
This is advance notice of a BOOK LAUNCH featuring the anthology FOREIGN ENCOUNTERS to be held in the PARISOT library on Saturday 10thNovember at 10.30.   The anthology has been produced by online writing group WRITERS ABROAD.   The event will feature an introduction to Writers Abroad, an explanation on the background, theme and production process of the anthology, and some fiction and nonfiction readings by authors whose work features in the book. 
Sent by Doreen Porter  

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Will you be lucky?

Our excellent french cleaner Laetitia has 2 hours on Wednesday and two hours on a Thursday where she could help you with your cleaning. Two of her clients have left for winter in England [ I cannot understand why!] When we last asked for clients for her we got 5 couples, all are delighted with her work.  Do not hang about if you want her, she is a gem. She lives at Caylus but will travel to Varen, Laguepie, St. Antonin etc. She helps me for two hours each week and to be honest cleans all the house including the windows. Now you did wonder why I have the time to do TAG ! Contact Laetitia on 0610703717

Friday, 12 October 2012

Varen resident makes you proud to be British and welcomes the altered perception we have of the disabled

In early 2010 I applied to be one of the 4000 volunteer medical team serving the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. Two years later after lots of encouragement from Eddie Izzard, Boris and Seb Coe, training sessions, uniform fitting and fun I walked in to the incredible Olympic Park and started work in the Basketball Arena and the Medical Unit, followed by the Paralympics in Greenwich Park and the Main Stadium.   The Park itself was stunning, beautiful landscaped gardens, wild flower meadows and marvellous sculpture, even The Orbit was amazing standing underneath or inside it.  State of the art Athletes Village accommodation, medical centre and stadia, most of which will remain for the community.
 The 70,000 strong volunteer Games Makers  were everywhere in their distinctive maroon and red uniforms, singing, dancing, telling jokes, high fiving in their huge bright pink foam hands,  helping people find their way around the park, in the trains, tube stations and shopping malls.  I took hundreds of photographs of spectators with the Park in the background, wearing a jolly policeman’s helmet, doing a Bolt or a Mobot.
Contrary to pre-Games warnings, Train journeys became a joy, transportation of thousands of people went like a dream and the visitors loved every minute of every journey to and from the Park.  Station staff and Ambassadors all over the country welcomed their passengers with a Union Jack sweet and a smile. 
Tremendous vision went into the City siting of the venues, glorious Greenwich Park transformed for the Equestrian events became the finest, the purple and blue stadium and arena seating 20,000 with a backdrop of the Queens House, Royal Naval College, River Thames and Canary Wharf beyond.
Of course all the building and planning was eclipsed by the athletes.  When I wasn’t working there, I was watching it all on TV, sobbing my socks off.  The Olympics was wonderful, but  I defy anyone to have watched dry eyed  the one legged high jumper, the blind runners, footballers and long jumpers, armless and legless swimmers, limbless cyclists, cerebral palsy horse riders, or wheelchair tennis and  rugby (murder ball), for me they were the stars of the show and altered all our perceptions of what disability means and what can be done not what cannot.  Oscar, Jonnie, Ellie, Josie, David and all the others, you and your dedicated support teams have changed the world.
The medical team saw 29000 people out of 2.5 million visitors during the Olympics, mostly for dehydration, sunburn, falling down the steep arena steps, blisters, epilepsy and fitting ear protectors to babies.....(gauze swabs and head bandages)!
One strange thing happened to the spectators, it became obvious we were all cheering at the same roaring volume for any athlete, from any country who performed well, or even just gave it everything and more, whether from Iran, Iraq, Ireland or Rwanda – extraordinary, and an example to those who think countries are so different.
So, if you want a life changing marvellous experience and have enthusiasm, good health and the ability to do something, anything at all, get your Volunteering boots on and  think of 2014 and 2016 – come on Commonwealth, roll on Rio, I can recommend it.                              
Jenni Davies, Varen
Val says
Well done Jenni. I can think of no better representative than you.

Quiz night at St. Antonin

If anyone needs to stimulate their brain cells there is a quiz night on
 Wednesday at 'Browns' in St Antonin.  You don't need to be a complete team
 as these are usually made up on the night depending on number of
 participants.  Supper is also offered for those that would like it but must
 be pre-ordered.  Questions can also be posed in French as well as English if
 Tyrax is asked to do so.
 As space is limited it's necessary to book a place by emailing Tyrax on the
 address shown below.
 3 euro entry for your shot at winning admiration and fizzy booze!
 Calamari rings 3 euro,Nachos with salsa & cheese 5 euro, Beef burgers and chips 7 Euro,Bacon carbonara 7 Euro, Fish & chips 8 Euro Food orders by Tuesday night please.Food served from 7.30PM   and quiz starts between 8 and 8.30pm,  to book a place:     Sent by Sue Coombs

Laperouse, a mariner from Albi

We have some Australians staying in the gite at the moment who tell us they are very keen to go to Albi and research the mariner Laperouse. They live just outside of Sydney and they say that there is a really interesting Museum at Botany Bay  in the National Park with dramatic views to the East Pacific Ocean. The Museum boasts a collection of nearly 2,000 items relating to the Laperouse Expedition  of  1785 - 1788 and one of the most significant items is a map with 72 coloured drawings and maps. Must be worth a fortune, as a retired bookseller I can tell you maps this old are big bucks. Laperouse originated from Albi and googling I see that there is a site  for more info. on the man. Laperouse left Botany Bay  1788 in two ships  on his return journey to France and vanished . If interested find out more by googling Laperouse, it is a quite fascinating story.

Macmillan Cancer Research, well done

I raised a grand total of 260 euros at my coffee morning, so thank you everyone who came, for your donations and for the wonderful cakes.  Larry thought he had died and gone to heaven.
If I have forgotten anyone I am sorry, it’s hard to remember everyone who came, BUT a big thank you to all.
Susan Hunt

Espinas, a village qui bouge

A) église d'ESPINAS : à 10h30 conférence ( gratuite) sur les églises à murs arrondis par le Père VACHEROT, curé de Caylus et homme très érudit.
B) salle des fêtes d'Espinas, à 12h30, grand repas campagnard  (ALIGOT) servi par les membres de l'association; 15EUROS Réserver le plus tôt possible au ou

Come and support the children of Mali / near Parisot

Ce petit message pour vous informer que nous tiendrons l'assemblée générale de l'association Via Sahel Enfants d'Afrique avec tous ses adhérants le 20 octobre prochain à 18h30. Ce serait avec grand plaisir de vous voir ce jour. A la suite de cette assemblée nous ferons un dîner auquel nous aimerions beaucoup vous compter parmi nous.
Veuillez nous informer de votre présence par retour de ce mail.
Winnie et Jean Marie Nosal.
You were wondering how you could get involved I know, so here is an opportunity. On the 20th of October  at 6.30pm we are one and all invited  to the general meeting of this association to support the children of Africa / Mali.You need to let the Nosals know you are going as they are arranging a small   meal afterwards, let them know you have seen this on  TAG on- line and they will be very pleased .  In between Parisot and Castanet you will find the Domaine de Sautou tel 0563657264 or mail
The website is
Malc and I will be going and hope to see lots more TAG readers there. If you cannot go that evening but would like to send a donation or send your name as a supporter please think of doing that.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Antique Repose Jambes / SOLD

Foot stool in very good condition. Repose Jambes, make  La Bagnolaise, Bagnoles d'Lorne. 25 euros
Val at or tel. 0563 640673

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Plane crash at Toulouse airport

A light aircraft crashed at Toulouse / Blagnac at about 4pm today. Two people were killed, more news as it appears.
Following on with this story, it appears to be a small plane from Carcassone and the pilot and co pilot were both killed. It is not know what made the plane come down and it was taken away to a hangar for analysis. It did not explode as previously thought.

Good jeweller wanted for repairs

Does anyone know of a good Jeweller who can repair old gold chains, brooches, rings etc.  I have several gold items waiting repair, but I don't know where to take them.  Also I would be interested in finding a proper watch repairer as I am in a similar situation with a number of old fashioned  "wind-up" watches I just hate to throw away!
Ideas, contact Karen thanks.

Supra wood burning stove for sale

Some friends mentioned that there was some kind of website with a name something like ‘taglines’ where it was possible to advertise locally things for sale and after a Google search we found you.
We are renovating our house in Les Cabannes [close to Cordes] and have a redundant 7 year old large Supra wood burner for sale [details attached] which we will not use. Can we advertise it through your website?
Barry & Sue Bawtree
No.5 Rue St. Felix 81170 Les Cabannes

CONTACT : T.05 63 53 90 78  Email

Old floor tiles wanted urgently

Does anyone have or know where I might buy some old red/brown floor tiles to cover an area of just over 1 metre square. The ideal size tile would be approx 20cm x 28cm.
If anyone can help would they please contact me at or phone 0563332572.

Sauvgardez le Patrimoine

The beautiful 13th Century Maison Gaugiron on the top of Cordes, which has been the headquarters of the Cordes Music Festival for years and years, is to be be completely changed to make room for a second Tourism office in this location, and it is unclear if any space will be left for the music festival.  Work on this historic building is due to start on October 15 and although the exterior of the building cannot be touched, the interior will be completely changed to make room for numerous offices.  The work will include the destruction of the 'cloisson boisses' dating back to the 13th century; the internal court will be covered, and its large open spaces, charcteristic of houses of this period, will be destroyed through the installation of a mezzanine and small box like offices.  The destruction of this beautiful building will be irreversible, and a great loss to the architectural heritage of Cordes.
Please pass this on to interested friends, and friends of the Cordes Music Festival.  A meeting will be held at the Halle on top of Cordes at 8 p.m. tomorrow evening, Tuesday, October 9, to which all interested persons are welcome.  Please read the following material, and kindly add your name to the petition which follows below.
Pour changer l'avenir de la Maison Gaugiran signez la pétition :

OUI A LA CONSERVATION DE LA MAISON GAUGIRAN EN L'ETAT ! Merci ! Pour toutes questions, encouragements .. contactez nous :

Mobile hairdresser who speaks English please

I would be grateful if you would ask on TAG for a mobile hairdresser  who speaks English,who will come to Bournazel, near Cordes on a regular basis to cut and set an elderly ladies hair. Contact me

stephanie mears

Gun fire in the Place du Capitol, Toulouse

Yesterday a man who was later discovered to have serious psychiatric problems slashed a woman with a knife whilst her husband was trying to protect her. The gendarmes were called and came quickly. The man seemed calm but then suddenly lunged at one of the gendarmes forcing him to fire a shot directly at the man. An inquiry is underway, but how scary  that must have been if you were having a leisurely coffee or shop in the Place.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Fun and joie de vivre

Reading a BBC review on France, ''France has lost its 'joie de vivre,''  by Hugh Schofield, made me think I still want fun and that is why I have created a new label. If you have anything funny to report or a funny photo that will give everyone a boost I will print it. It must have something to do with life in France as that was why TAG was conceived and I loosely  like to hold to my principles

Patrimoine 2004, The storming of the Castle at Laguepie

Looking back through the files of 2004 I went from being happy, seeing this picture, to feeling a bit sad that half of the pictures I looked at  had friends on who have since passed away.
The occasion was a patrimoine day and Betrand Dezes opened the doors of the Chateau of Laguepie to be once again stormed by marauding foreigners. In the group pictured, King Richard the Lion Heart on the left is Tudor Powell, brother in law, close up shows his shoes were  just not authentic! Mary Parkes, Arnoud  and Janine Budelman, Jeremy Rewse Davies in a monks habit which Iga had made from old curtains, Roger Bowen as a pilgrim, me as Robin Hood with a dead rabbit hanging from my belt,  which was actually a glove puppet called Marlow Lock Johnstone,  named as he was bought at  a charity shop in Marlow,  when we were moored at the Lock and Iga Rewse Davies just looking rather splendid , as she would! And listing nationality in order we have Welsh, Polish, Double Dutch, Welsh, Surrey, Yorkshire and Polish and there were French  defenders when we got to the castle.

Report by Arnoud Budelman in 2004

Some  new readers  to TAG will not know that in 2003 and 2004 I used to produce a paper edition of Taglines which I printed and handed out at shops and the markets.I talked friends into doing reports for me and below is one by Arnoud Budelman on Pierre Noel Frileux, the President of the Bourse des plantes. Much more comprehensive than my latest report so I have added this report which is still relevant to TAG in 2012. Do not expect royalties Arnoud.

For someone new in the area, one of the fastest ways to get to know the place and certainly make French friends is to join one of the many existing Associations. One of these associations, called "Bourse des plantes" is presided by a former University professor in Applied Biology, Mr Pierre Noël FRILEUX.
During his university years back in Rouen, he created a still existing project in a Normandy village with the objective of conserving almost lost vegetable species and varieties. Now retired in St Antonin, Mr Frileux has created the "Association Bourse des Plantes", literally the Stock Exchange for Plants. Still young, the Association counts 40 members and around known 50 sympathizers. The broader objective of the Association is to locally contribute to nature conservation and improvement of the quality of the environment. This is in the interest of all of us, living here and enjoying the existing beauty of the place.
More in particular the association aims at helping local people to discover and appreciate the natural riches of the area, through the organization of visits to botanically interesting places, through series of thematic meetings (recently for example discussing the local toxic plants), to exchange and distribute interesting local vegetable varieties, including their culture and use (original recipes!), and much more. You don’t need to be a great gardener yourself, or even have your own garden, to appreciate what the association has to offer.
In case you’re interested, please feel free to contact M Frileux, Route des Fours à Chaux, 82140 Saint Antonin Noble Val, telephone 05 63 30 88 49