Friday, 31 May 2013

Bordeaux take on Evian

Bordeaux tonight take on Evian in The French Football Cup Final, as the French TV reporter cleverly said " Water against Wine "
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See that sun, the meteo is showing that every day next week now

Where are my shorts ? ( that little question mark should be the sun, hope it is not going to be that elusive next week!)
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Poor Patrick Hurley of South Castres

We are just watching Midi Pyrenees news on France  TV3  and the flooding area around the Tarn at Castres is causing real problems. They have just interviewed a Brit whose house was totally flooded, nice stone house but I would imagine all the furniture will need taking to the dechetterie. He was quite philosphical as he explained " je suis Anglais, donc pas grand chose ! " It was the second time his house had been flooded throughout. But not only was he on Midi Pyrennes news, Tarn news but he made the National news as well.
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How about a trip to Bolivia?

  • Excursion de la nature de 22 jours en Bolivie de jeudi 19 septembre au jeudi 10 octobre 2013
  • English, French and Dutch speaking
  • Encore 3 partipants sont accepté de total 12
  • Vol de Toulouse 19 septembre; arrive le 7 à La Paz le lendemain matin; retour Toulouse 10 octobre
  • Prix total incl. € 3.300 (Départ Schiphol (ca € 3.500)
  • Forêt tropical d’Amazone dans le département naturel près de la frontière de Péru, provence de Madidi, une heure sud-est par vol de la capital La Paz. Le centre de cette région est Rurrenabaque.
  • Inscrire par E-mail: au président de Amazonfund-France pour le voyage par E-mail avec votre nom, adresse, passeport valable quelle date, par le président.
  • 50 % payement (€ 1.650) avant 15.6.2013 pour le trésorier de l’association, téléphone +33628620369;
    Banque Crédit Agricole St. Antonin NV; Numéro de compte CA 22501508037; IBAN FR76 1120 6201 7022 5015 0803715;
    Code BIC AGRIFRPP812
Utilisable aussi pour les dons pour nos projets de € 30 par an.
Further info about activities of the association till 8 June: Erik 05 63318973
Erik Jongejan
Chemin St Bernard
82140 St Antonin Noble Val
mobiel FR: +33628620369

Spontaneous dancing, foot tapping, hand clapping, another great night.

Another great evening at Le Riols yesterday, the last before the summer tour! Regular musicians Brian, Ian, John, Linda and Trevor performed individually and in various combinations and were well outnumbered by an appreciative audience including some new faces. As a non musician I am loving listening to the results of new collaborations within the pool of local talent, they seem to be enjoying themselves too.

There were also some new faces amongst the performers. Regis started each half off in fine style playing French music on his accordion, it even had some of us on our feet dancing, lets hope he enjoyed himself and will come again. Other newcomers, as performers that is, were Maggie and Bill on one of their regular holidays to the area from Nova Scotia. They treated us to a lovely song written for old friends set to the tune of an old Scottish air.

The evening was brilliantly organised by Ian as compere for the month but he did seem to lose track of his guitar at one point (see photo) - hope it wasn't all too much!

Needless to say we did moan a fair bit about the weather but we did our best singing along  with "blow the wind southerly" and "summertime" and is it just a touch warmer today?
Anyway tomorrow it will be June. The next folk'n'jazz will be held at Val and Malcom's house at Mas de Sol (just outside Varen). It being the end of June it will of course be beautiful weather and a musical feast is planned. More details of this, and the programme for the following months,  will follow soon.
Sue Carter
Regis gets them dancing

Lost your guitar Ian?
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Val says Regis asked the way to Mas del Sol  for the June event, so he must have enjoyed the evening

The Shamanic Way workshop

I am running a Workshop on Monday 24th June 2.30 - 5.30pm
Euros 15 pp.  in Les Cabannes.  Numbers are limited
It will be an introduction into The Shamanic Way and how it can help us all in our lives.  
If you feel stuck in any way or find you have tried various therapies and still feel something
is not working, do consider coming.  So much can be accessed and shifted on the energetic level.
It is gentle, subtle but also very effective.   
There will be a general introduction followed by a Journey to Meet a Guide, followed by
Circle time and another Journey for Healing.  
Places will be limited and if there is more interest I can repeat it on another day.  
If you cannot make the Workshop but would like to do some Shamanic work,
please do get in touch.
Bring with you a blanket and an open mind.  

06 77 16 41 38

Galocher ... kissing with tongues! new to the French

Of top interest to all tag readers.....the French have ,after centuries of lacking ,  given a verb
for "french kissing".. Galocher.. "kissing with tongues".
 To be found in the 2014 edition of Le Petit Robert. ( reported in today's Independant)
Thats one thing that cant be done on TAG...pity

Old agricultural implements for garden decoration perhaps

Please come and make an offer  on our neighbours last pieces. Guns sold and many other items now gone[ near Varen ]
Contact Val

Concert for Via Sahel at Parisot Church

Click on the poster to read it more easily

Remember Arnac vide grenier is coming to Varen

The Arnac fete is being held at Varen which is in the same commune, due to work being carried out at Arnac. The vide grenier will be along the banks of the river on Saturday morning.
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Discover insects at Najac

June1st at Najac, the LPO are having a meeting on the banks of the river to determine the number and variety  of insects in that area, which is remarkable for its flora and fauna.
Contact Aurelien Costes for time and more details 0675240546 The event is free
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Six departments in the South at risk of flooding and we can believe it.

" Alerte meteo, alerte  orange " we all know the rain has been intermittent, sometimes heavy showers, sometimes light, but always on the horizon. Living on the top of a hill we can see the rain  in the distance moving over in black and grey clouds, then passing on bringing the odd bright sky for half an hour if you are lucky. The ground is sodden, the roses and peonies are laden down with the rain and spring, my favourite season has been a wash out. Our renters in the gite  and friends on holiday have had a rotten week. The birds and especially our kestrels are struggling to find food and our usual brood of six baby kestrels if the eggs ever hatch will struggle to survive. I just want to get out in the garden, jobs are backing up, and tell me why "les mauvais herbes poussent" and the tomatoes stop growing ?
The forecast is better for the week end and next week.
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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Singapore Airlines place an excellent order

Thirty Airbus and  thirty Boeings are being ordered by Singapore Airlines for around the sum of 17 billion dollars.
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Land art et epouvantails

Sunday 2nd June  in the garden of the Citrus group at Laguepie, hameau de la mayounelle. Come on the walk at 10h30 and gather things from nature. 12h30 a picnic with everybody taking a plate to share. 14h Make a scarecrow with all the naturel elements you have found on the walk or in your garden. Day dependant on the weather. contact    or tel 0563659406
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Kim Ilsley sends this link of her and her class at the Caylus Fete

News of all the toutou's

chers lecteurs,
petit récapitulatif des chiens qui cherchent leur famille!
Perle la petite chienne blanche, qui à prit du poids et de la confiance!!
Iris, la noire toujours trop maigre, ne supporte plus le chenil!
Ipso petit chien super câlin!
Ippi, chiot très vif et intelligent!
Je vous présente Balou (le nounours) et Princesse, ces deux loulous ont été trouvé ensemble!! ils cherchent désormais des adoptants!
Hier rencontre avec Sarah et son mari au sujet d'Athos, le toutou rejoint sa famille samedi!!
Encore une adoption grâce à Tag!!!!!!
je ne vous remercierais jamais assez!!!
continuons à nous mobiliser pour les chiens qui reste!!
merci, merci et merci
Balou and Princess have found their owners

Balou or Princess
Sarah and her husband have arrived in France to start their new super life and Athos has been waiting for them. If you remember Sarah saw the dog at the same time as they bought their house and now they are here to have fun with him. Maeva also gives us a run down of dogs still waiting for homes. Iris and Perle are very urgent cases and Princess and Babou are also added to the list.

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Princess or Balou

Banish the blues tonight

Another day dawns grey and damp but don't forget, for the princely sum of 2 euros you can banish the blues with folk'n'jazz tonight at 8pm in the  salle des fêtes at Le Riols.
Sue Carter
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Spanghero at Castelnaudry - will it survive ?

A terrible outcome for more than 100 employees of Spanghero who are fighting to save their jobs after the " horsegate scandal" Former rugbyman Laurent Spanghero, former owner who had sold out a few years before the scandal has been working hard to get the factory working again. I saw him on TV yesterday with tears in his eyes, and it must hurt to have built up with his brother a good business to see it disintegrate in this way. His care for his former employees is admirable and I hope he manages to save the enterprise.
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The kilt story makes France 2 TV news

We had to laugh this morning at a replay of "the kilt and sperm story " that was in TAG a few weeks ago. The story was about men having better quality and more sperm if they did not wear warm tight briefs, so the kilt was the ideal. We were sent a very indiscreet photo of someone wearing a kilt, where as the TV  showed a much more discreet picture.
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Good luck Bruno and Vincent

We had a phone call from the north of England yesterday to say " I have just witnessed the first gay wedding in Montpelier of  Bruno and Vincent. So the wedding was news around the world I imagine. Good luck to the happy couple.
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The Mayors scooter is found!

Can you remember the story of the Mayor of Toulouse  Pierre Cohen having his scooter stolen whilst he was performing an opening of a building works. Well top news in the Depeche is the scooter has been found -  but missing his computer and telephone, must be a slow news day.
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Martine works for TAG , as well as AG3

coucou, bonjour Val
 Hélas pas de soleil encore, espère que là haut,  tout va bien;
Juste pour info il y a un vide grenier dimanche à Bruniquel .
(pub ce matin sur recherche pages blanches)
Bonne journée à tous deux
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Save the slaughter of whales

Sent by Sally - click  the link , read and sign to save whales
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Who should turn up on the doorstep?

We posted off the cheques to the Nosals this morning and who should turn up on the doorstep this afternoon but,  Jean Marie Nosal. As always full of plans to raise money and lots of news of interesting things happening over the next few months. He tires me out just listening to all his plans and we are talking of a man now in his seventy seventh  year. He is very concerned about Mali for various reasons, the war has stopped any tourists going and so people in tourism are without work. The rebels although in the North are hiding in those hills, the hostages are still being held and worse thing of all is the number of children going each day to the school for food, which thankfully the Association is managing to feed. He would normally go to oversee operations around now but discretion (and Winnie saying No) has stopped him arranging this visit. He has confidence in the staff he has in the hospital, laboratory and school. On a brighter note he thinks the laboratory is doing such important work that he believes it has saved the lives of 250  children in the last year and we TAG readers have played a big part in that. When he was there before Christmas he negotiated  the laboratory fees for the price of blood transfusions which means more transfusions can be undertaken.
He would normally be planning on moving forward  with plans but this year he just wants to focus on maintaining the hospital, school and lab at their present level. He wanted readers to know how much he and Winnie appreciate TAG readers helping and I assured him I would let you know and pass on his grateful thanks.
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Le chat parti, les souris dansent.

When the cats away, the mice will play, we all know that expression, and it is not dissimilar to the French one,   Le chat parti, les souris dansent.
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Espinas Fete

Orchid day near Lavaurette

You are invited for an orchid day in the region of Lavaurette this Saterday. There are still some places to participate. If you are interested please phone Erik 06 28620369.
Vous êtes invité pour le sorti des fleurs et des autres organismes, le Samedi 1 juin à Lavaurette, église parking (près de Septfonds-Caylus) 10.30 – 15.00 h.
Guide d’Erik Jongejan, biologiste,  qui a composé un livre avec les pictures de toutes les orchidées de notre région. Explications en français, anglais, hollandais, allemand.
Emmener votre lunch, loupe, parapluie, crayons, Flora, quand vous voulez, s.v.p.
Information chez nous.
Erik Jongejan
tel/fax: +33563318973
mobiel FR: +3362862036

Rendez - vous aux jardins

……..Just in case it stops raining this weekend tag lines readers might like to know that the national event  'Rendez-vous aux Jardins' is happening when gardens, big or small,  public or private, are open to the public.
My garden, La Barriere at Lacapelle-Livron,  will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10h till 6h
There are other gardens also open locally  : Jardin de Cornerave near Parisot, Les Jardins de Quercy at Verfeil  and Jardin des bastides at Milhars.
If you want to travel further afield then there is info to be found on:
best wishes,
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I wonder why that happens?

From time to time the oddest thing happens with TAG where the ticks for enjoyed move to another post.It would not matter normally unless it moves to another post where someone has died and then it looks as if readers have enjoyed that news. It usually rights itself but I have just rechecked and  many  ticks are in the wrong place  on unsuitable posts.( not on Bonny which makes a change !)
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Free standing, adjustable legs, 3 wide drawers !

IKEA Free-standing kitchen unit. 

Adjustable legs.  Purchased 2011.  Excellent condition

Size:  160 x 90 cm : Price: 150 euros

Telephone:  Pamela on 09 63 45 21 45

They have done it again, the little beggars.

This weather apart from being rotten for us all is causing havoc with my donkeys. The fields are saturated which is not good for their hooves and the grass is lush and luxuriant , not good for their now huge tummies. We have been trying to keep them in a small area of field which is well eaten over but the little beggars have different ideas. This morning Malc and I were out together playing " diversion tactics" a good game where one walks with their much loved grey buckets to their hut then the other nips out of the bushes where they were hiding to run and fence off the field while the donkeys are occupied. It went so easily this morning that we might of guessed the pair had something up their sleeves, is there a donkey analogy for that ? Anyway how they have managed it, I am not sure but here they are again opposite the house window smiling in. I will have to go and don the wellys and make the perilous descent down the field  being nudged all the way to see where they are breaking out... and you all thought they were  cute!
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An Aveyronnais missing in the Pyrenees Orientales

A walker from Millau is missing in the Pyrenees Oriental. His car was found parked by Le Lac des Bouillouses. The fears for  his safety  are because the conditions with wind and rain have been  so severe in the area. Another couple who were thought to be lost have been found  " sains et sauf",  save and sound we would say.
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A cheque sent for 495 euros, wow!

I have been called " obsessive " writing TAG and it is a label that is accurate, but tell me why ? Ok, I shall tell you: today we sent off a cheque to Jean Marie and Winnie Nosal at the Domaine de Sautou for 495 euros, made up of monies from the barbecue and advertising on TAG. Without the decent sized  readership nobody would want to advertise, nobody would know about events planned. I have a mission now not only to be an interesting local link but to raise money for deprived anything, be it children, cats, dogs, donkeys and amazingly Malc is coming along with me. I remember when I ran a library years ago before I started bookselling,  we were trying to increase the number of readers through the doors to keep our library open. I made the library a place you wanted to come to not just for a book but a social centre where you never knew what was going to happen next. As with TAG I had spectacular success mixed with totally embarrsassing dismal failures but you have to keep plugging away to make things work. I like people, I like animals and I like you all looking at TAG never knowing what dreadful mistake I will make with spelling or comprehension but always trying to be interesting. I like your participation and would like  more of that  and I love the fact that we are all on this same adventure here in this most beautiful place, South West France. Keep reading, sometimes laughing, hopefully never bored and tell your friends about TAG.
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Rodez could see halted circulation as the President arrives

President Holland on a whistle stop tour of two big employers in the area, the Bosch Factory at Onet le Chateau and then on to the Pierre Fabre Pharmaceutical company at Castres. All to promote employment in the area. The Fabre factory has world wide an employment force of 10,000 and Monsieur Fabre is a benefactor of many sporting clubs in the area including Castres Olympique.
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Spectacular road accident between Villefranche and Caylus at Felines

Spectactulaire is how it was described in the Depeche, when a very large lorry swerved in to a ditch and landed in the bushes on the road between Caylus and Villefranche. The driver was slightly injured and the gendarmes where on scene to control traffic circulation.
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Tennis at St. Antonin.

The sixth tournament starts Saturday. For seniors 15 euros, but for the winners a 150 euro prize. Inscriptions at the club house contact  tel 0563306892  or
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Public enemy No1 caught

Caught in a hotel at Seine et Marne  Redoine Faid, a robber on a grand scale has been on the run for 6 weeks. He had escaped from a "maison d'arret " in the North of France at Sequedin. This is the top story in the French news today.
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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Imagine a neighbour like this !

A man who was born in Sete  but originally from Maghreb / North West Africa and was a career soldier with the Military was moving in to his new house in Lunel. His neighbour behind the fence  started shouting " Chope les Arabs, chope les Arabs and then set his two Alsation dogs on the young man. One of the dogs out of interest  and very relevant was called Adolf, the other Blondie. The young soldier was bitten au mollet. A month in prison for the racist but what happens when he is released!
Now two things in that post, I need to research  " chope" and " mollet" as my  normal reference tool is not working due to being asleep on the sofa!
Chope means cut or chop the Arab
Mollet is the calf
Maeva says  bonjour, 
au sujet du post du voisin raciste, chope signifie attrape et le mollet est une partie du corp se situant derrière la jambe, derrière le tibia!!

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Martine Ravily of AG3 Immobilier joins the TAG club

Happy to donate to local charities and also raise her profile Martine Ravily of Varen works hard in her profession as an estate agent in the area. I know in the last couple of weeks two dear friends who are happy with her services and their house sales have gone through with out problems. I do have to declare an interest in Martine as she is a very good friend and also one of our key supporters over the winter of our Opera evenings [I  do not think she missed any of those] I do not think she would mind me saying she is a bit terrier like when there is a chance of a sale, but she is a terrier on the clients behalf. As her husband is a Doctor he works longs hours and Martine spends this time to herself working for clients . Thank you Martine for placing the advert and I hope you do get prospective buyers and sellers from your foresight.
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Fuzzy it may be, but Bonny and Twister feature

Taken earlier in the evening before it got dark. Twister the black dog is kissing Bonny, he really loves her.
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Isere, an enfant drowned in the family pool.

This is the  time of year we all open our pools and we must remember to keep security in place. At Isere,  a two year old child was playing outside whilst his father did some bricolage When the child was discovered he was at the bottom of the pool and it was too late.
We have a mechanised roll out cover on our pool but when open it only takes a few minutes for a child to topple in and sink to the bottom. We have had an instance of this a few years ago. Our little nephew toppled in and we never heard the splash, nor was there a cry. Fortunately his Daddy saw it from where he was sitting and dived in with all his clothes on to rescue the toddler. George, the little lad was safe and the fact that Daddy had ruined his phone and wallet were insignificant things. That episode has made me realize just how quickly a pool disaster can happen and whatever your security measures around the pool, the best one with children is vigilance and constant attention.
Sent by Sue Hunt

Terrible about the two year old child drowning, but having been in the pool

trade for....well far too many years, my recommendations always were and

always will be, teach children not to be afraid of water, starting from

washing their hair and being happy in the bath, and as early as you can get

them to a pool for lessons.  Of course adult supervision is needed at all

times and if you are in the garden and are likely to get distracted, make

sure they are wearing armbands.



From a very wet and murky U.K.
Val says  A very wet and murky UK eh!

If a donkey is their mascot, perhaps I should support them.

Pedro l'âne, la nouvelle mascotte du Castres Olympique.

A direct line to God?

That was the comment from one of our guests at the charity barbecue we held last night at Mas del Sol. The sun shone as people started arriving and it continued till sunset and the grange stayed warm till the last guests left. ( we did have the new patio heater on for the last couple of hours and people who feel the cold were happy with it). John Taylor looked well grilled sandwiched between the barbecue and the heater but Sheila his wife was happy. A real mix of people and nationalities all helping us raise money for those street children. We ended up taking 390 euros to be handed over to Via Sahel.
I worry that friends feel they cannot come for a visit to Mas del Sol with out handing over money so till next winter when we will have Opera evenings again, if you get an invite to our house over the summer, it will not be a charity event and it will not cost you .
Thank you to all who so generously came and supported us and made it such a pleasant evening.
Also a thank you to Di Hope who had given me a bottle of  homemade ''sloe gin '' This was brought out as a digestif and everyone thought it delicious. The French did not know what it was till we looked it up to discover that sloes are prunille
Thanks also to Diana Jackson for the meringue choclate dessert and Gill Catterall for two bowls of salads.

Martine says   Hello, bonjour Valéry et Malcom
BRAVO au cuisinier et sa Merveilleuse Assistante, et quelle chance pour le soleil à l'apéritif. votre jardin est magnifique.
J'ai passé une merveilleuse soirée, et j'ai été ravie de faire  de nouvelles rencontres.
Gill says   Hi Val and Malcolm
 Thank you for a lovely evening. You both worked so hard to make it a success, everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.
What luck with the weather, I see it’s raining again now.
Val says Malc and I had a wonderful evening and look forward to the next one and thank you Malc for all your work.
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Monday, 27 May 2013

Folk'n'Jazz this Thursday

Well here we are again - almost the end of another month and all we can talk about is the weather!
What we all need is a nice evening listening to (and joining in with) some good music provided by local talent! That local talent has been working hard all month, searching for new material, sharing songs and music, practising individually and together and are now just hoping the all important audience will turn out in droves to listen to the fruits of their labours.
There will be some new faces amongst the performers (remember could still be you if you are feeling the urge - its not too late - contact this month's compere Ian on before 8pm Thursday) as well as "old"  favourites.
The evening starts at 8pm sharp in the Salle des fêtes at Le Riols (near Varen). Bring your own drinks and friends if you have any! Hope to see you there.
PS I am reliably informed that "blow the wind southerly" is in the programme - maybe that will work to fix the weather.
Sue Carter
Val says  And remember your 2 euros entrance fee
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TAX deadline for paper forms is today

You still have a chance to fill your tax return on line, unless it is your first time to return your forms.
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"La vie d'Adele" wins the Palme d'or at Cannes

It is the 66th Film Festival at Cannes and the talk in the news is that the "Palme d'or" has been won by " La vie d' Adele."The film director was Abdellatif Keliche and the two main characters were played by Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos.
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Sunday, 26 May 2013

All quiet on the Western Front

Have you noticed a lot of my sayings are book related?
All quiet on the Western Front was written by Erich Maria Remarque in 1928 and then made in to an Oscar winning film in 1930.
The Kestrels are nesting in the west facing wall and all is quiet as the parents play turns on the nest. The eggs take 3 weeks to hatch and then the little chicks take 3 weeks to fledge.
Malc is sure I have told you all before and anyway it should be " All Quiet on the nesting front " I have had to remind him, whose blog it  is,  and sent him off to get the tea underway!
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The year of ''I''

I bet you non doggy people and perhaps even people who have never bought a dog in France have no idea what the year of ''I '' is.
Each year the letter of the alphabet changes so one has an idea of how old the dog is. For example Bonny, named because she was born on the first of January [Bonne annee] was the year of 'B' s so all dogs born that year have to be given names with B's and that is on her pedigree papers. So Malc calling the little dog Bosch does not work Maeva says as it is the year of the 'I's. The 'I' s have it, so to speak.
Dread to think what happens in the year with 'x's.
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Another little cutie and he has not even got a name!

ce petit chiot cherche une famille!!!!!!!!!
Contacrt Maeva
Malc had called him Bosch but Maeva has sent this email
le petit bonhomme s'appelera ipso!! désolé pour bosch mais c'est l'année des i!!!!!!!

Castres Olympique Rugby team has reached final

Castres Olympique rugby team has reached the final of the " Top Fourteen " play off. They will play Jonny Wilkinsons Toulon.
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Fioul sales up 250% in May as tanks are topped

Fioul sales are up in May as because of the cold weather people are needing to top up their tanks. We topped up because it is 6% cheaper than a year ago at the minute and I am sure that will also be a factor.
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Francois Hollande in the region Thursday

Firstly flying in to Rodez to visit the Bosch workshops and then flying to Castres -Mazamet to visit the Pierre Fabre Laboratories at Castres. When Malc was in the day hospital at Castres he shared a room with an employee of the company who thought the dynamic owner Monsieur Fabre was great, supporting many sporting associations.
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The sun shines on us Mothers for La Fete des Meres

If you have not already booked your restaurant you might struggle. Mammies and  Maman will be eating out with their families in large numbers today.
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Relais Mont -le-Viaur at St. Andre de Najac

Chef Sebastian Balard and wife Christine are passionate about wines. Next to the restaurant they have created a shop with a wine cave and in it have all the wines of the region, along with grand cru of other regions and armagnac and whisky and their publicity says " other curiosities "  The restaurant and hotel have developed amazingly in the last three or four years and the couple must be very dynamic. Worth a visit.
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Fire in a garage at Montauban kills one and injuries 5

In the Ingres area of the City, parents of a large family were out for the afternoon. Their children and friends went to play in the garage and they played with matches or started smoking near bidons of petrol. A fire quickly started and with in minutes the garage was ablaze. Sadly the pompiers found a body not yet indentified but appears to be a youngster age between 12 and 14 years of age. Another five youngsters are badly burned in hospital.
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Saturday, 25 May 2013

The little border collie is adopted

ichka est adoptée!!!
du coup je prend iris en famille d'accueil mais toujours rien pour perle!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Val says As Ichka has been adopted Maeva can take on Iris but that still leaves  Perle with only one week left if a short term carer cannot be found. Carers need a fenced garden.
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Composer of "Milord" the Edith Piaf song dies.

Composer and singer Georges Moustaki has died in Nice age 79. Prolific singer and composer he wrote the Edith Piaf song " Milord"
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Henry Dutilleux, french composer dies

Henry Durilleux, an important and well known composer has died age 97. Born on 27 Jan  1916, died  on 22nd  May 2013. A very comprehensive review of his life and work in the Guardian.
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The first black French Super Star

Omar Sy is ''cool'', the star of the most successful ever French language film to date. He nows lives in Los Angeles but insists he will continue to pay taxes in France.
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Just too many cats

Reading a story in the Depeche, there are two neighbours who live at Carcassonne in dispute as one neighbour has nine cats and also leaves out food for other cats in the area, although this is denied.
The dispute has gone to the Maire to be sorted.
This reminds me of a few years ago where we were thinking of buying a house in the country till we discovered a close neighbour had 50 cats. The house had been owned by an English couple who had been driven mad by mating cats and cats defecating in the grounds, everywhere! They eventually went back to England abandoning their " French dream" leaving the house empty.
 The couple had been to the Maire who thought there was nothing he could do as long as the cats were well cared for. The house did eventually get sold after a long period but we often wondered what happened with the new neighbours and ... the cats.
I better make it clear it is quite different with the cat charities and their carers, Chats du Quercy for example, where the cats are well housed and cared for.
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First Ecofestival bien - etre at Caylus

At Caylus in the village they are holding the first festival of well being with 60 exposants and three different bands playing over 3 days, 31st May and June 1st  and 2nd. Organised by L' association Perle de Rosee. An association with its roots very close to nature and bound up with very spiritual themes.
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Friday, 24 May 2013

Gavin knows prominent women !

Val says    Gavin Porter is keeping Doreen company in hospital and kindly volunteered 
[ is that the way it went Gavin?] to research 
the prominent women in France list for TAG
Hi Val
Here's Gavin's research on the women on your list. Doreen x


CHRISTINE LAGARDE: President of the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. 
Former Minister of Finance in
 the Sarkozy Government
and top lawyer in Chicago.

ELIZABETH BADINTER: Author, historian and professor of philosophy at the Ecole 
Polytechnique in Paris. France’s
 most influential intellectual on the basis of books on feminism and motherhood.

CHRISTIANE TAUBIRA: Garde de Sceaux (France’s Minister of Justice). Has just 
successfully piloted the bill 
allowing same-sex marriage through the French Parliament.

ANNE-SOPHIE LAPIX: Journalist and television presenter. Will present the daily
programme “C a vous” on TV Channel France 5 from 2nd September.

MARTINE AUBRY: Mayor of Lille and senior member of the socialist party, of
 which she was Leader until recently.

ANNE HIDALGO: Deputy Mayor of Paris and Socialist Party Candidate for the
 Paris Mayoral Election of 2014.

ESTHER DUFLO: Economist, Co-Founder and Director of the Abdul Latif  Jamal 
 Poverty Action Lab. The Lab aims
 to reduce poverty by ensuring policy to do so is based on scientific evidence.

MARINE LE PEN: Leader of Le Front National. Seeks to present this extreme
 right wing party as respectable and 
in touch with the ordinary French person.

ANNE LAUVERGEON: Heads the French nuclear industry. One of the most 
prominent women in the top
 management of French industry.

NAJAD VALLAUD-BELKACEM: Spokesperson (Porte-parole) of the French 
Government and Minister 
for Equality of Women.

FRANCOISE BARRE-SINOUSSI: Researcher in virology. She discovered
 HIV (virus of immunodeficiency) 
at the Paris Pasteur Institute with Luc Montaigne. They received the Nobel Prize for 
Medicine in October 2008.

MARILLON COTILLARD: One of the highest paid French film actresses. Has also 
starred in Hollywood films.

MERCEDES ERRA: French business woman. Executive President of the
 advertising agency Havas Worldwide
 and Co-Founder of the advertising agency BETC.

NATALIE NOUGAYAREDE: Director of Le Monde. Journalist specialising in 
international affairs particularly 
Eastern Europe, Russia and countries formerly part of Russia.

CAROLINE FOUREST: Essayist, journalist and militant feminist. Editor-in-chief of 
the Review ProChoix 
which defends individual liberties against all ideology of a dogmatic, racist,
 fundamentalist or freedom
 threatening nature. Gives courses at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques at Paris.

NATACHA POLONY: Journalist and essayist specialising in education.

ALESSANDRA SUBLET: Radio personality and TV presenter. Former presenter of
 the daily programme 
“C a vous” on TV Channel France 5.

CATHERINE NAYL: Journalist. News Director at the television channel TF1.


Local saying by agriculters

Two local farmers have said to us  ''Une annee de foin, une annee de rien ''
If there is a lot of grass / hay , you can forget other things as it has been too wet. Expect all your cherries, plums and peaches to be small.
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"Stop behaving as if you were the last representatives of a besieged Gallic village "

The left wing newspaper Liberation has published its front page in English and has told the French to
" stop behaving as if you are the last representatives of a besieged Gallic village "
Teaching more courses in English is being proposed at Universities and this does not go down well with many of the head in the sands French. So many young French  people now are in England working, so many working around the world, so much could be gained from attracting English speaking students from around the world. Will it happen, we shall see.
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Big tailbacks on the Toulouse rocade

Today Friday afternoon there has been a 4 kilometre tailback on the Toulouse rocade, due to two accidents.
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Apologies to the Ladies

Many of the ladies of Fifi wondered where I was for the AGM on Friday morning at 11am. Well, I was tidying the gite, brushing the donkeys ( they are so muddy ) doing the shopping at Laguepie then walking the dogs. I had on my return a stream of phone calls about dogs to be rehomed or lost dogs and the one visit about advertising on TAG
I was there at Verfeil ready for 2 pm with all my committee notes but by then the meeting was over. My apologies to everyone who did go, what a dilly I am. Had Doreen been here she would have reminded me. In your hospital bed Doreen, stop laughing , not good for stitches !
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Pets to go, that label is overflowing at the moment

Check out the label ''Pets to Go'' if you are looking for a new pet dog or cat.
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Let those French businesses know about TAG

If you look at the adverts you will notice they are all from English speakers, now this is understandable as TAG is an English speakers community magazine. However we often use French suppliers and they need to know about TAG. The reponse the adverts are having from the feedback received is excellent . Yesterday we had 507 hits and by 9 am today already 76. I know I have a French Immobilier working out an advert at the moment but please send a link to any French artisans, producers or service provider [ not EDF, please] give them a link to TAG and tell them about the advertising space. If you get one advert placed it will feed a child in Mali for weeks or be the cost of having a donkeys hooves trimmed.Give it some thought readers.I have a plan to contact others but some help would be appreciated, you will know likely people.
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Charity barbecue Monday and look at that sun.

Lundi 27
5°C | 21°C
UV 6
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Le Pont Neuf celebrates 100 years

Le Pont Neuf at Montauban celebrates 100 years of looking good over the Tarn at Sapiac. It was opened the 29th of June 1913 and was designed by Simon Boussiron from Perpignon and cost then 536,000 francs.
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Opera at Bruniquel

"La Vie Parisienne"  
Opéra-Bouffe en 5 actes de Jacques Offenbach 
avec un quatrième acte inédit!
01, 02, 03, 04  -  07, 08, 09, 10, 11 août 2013 - 21h30
Vous pouvez réserver dès à présent:
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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Peregrines are the fastest falcons and are nesting in Villefranche

The bird watchers said that the only other 2 French cities with peregrines were Albi and Paris.    You might be interested to know that Norwich has a live web cam on the peregrines nesting on the cathedral.  Easy to find via Google.

Liz Godfrey

Val says I see that there are also Peregrin Falcons at the nuclear power station at Golfech in Lot and Garonne.
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Jane Hanna comes recommended

Recommended by us, Malc and I. We received  the advert for Jane and needed a sofa moving from Castelnau de Montmiral, saw she had a van and she had said she was strong. She picked up the sofa for us and asked a very reasonable sum ( always important when you are retired ) She tells me she has had another phone call for tiling work, and on the trip today people where she was picking up asked her about painting and decorating, and as they are moving to Laguepie it will work well for them As she said to me " my 35 euros was well spent" In reality I said that to her but it sort of scanned better the first way! but we both agreed it whatever.
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Oh! Heavens someone please help or I will be heading for the divorce courts after nearly 50 years of marriage.

 Je viens d'apprendre que si Perle et Iris ne trouvait pas rapidement une famille, la mairie se débarrasserai des deux chiennes!!
Autrement dit c'est l'euthanasie!!!!
Si vous possédez un jardin cloturé, et que vous avez du temps et de la patiente vous pouvez faire famille d'accueil!!!!!!!!!
merci!!!  Maeva    tel   0677352830
Val says
Please can someone become a carer till we find homes for these two dogs as the Mairie is planning on sending them off to "" the long sleep" As Maeva says if you have a fenced garden and can give a little time and patience it would save their lives. I could do it but my marriage is also important and  when Malc says NO more, he means it.  SEE A PICTURE OF THE TWO DOGS IN "PETS TO GO."
Val says I asked Maeva how long there is for the two dogs? 
une grosse semaine à tous casser je dirais!!! une fois ichka adoptée je peux prendre soit iris ou perle en famille d'accueil mais dans tous les cas il y en a une qui restera toute seule puisque je ne peux prendre les deux!!!!!!!!
A good week
If the little border collie is rehomed, she could then take one of the dogs as a carer, but that would mean one of the dogs would have to go. All ifs, ifs, ifs, at the moment.

Peregrin Falcons at Villefranche de Rouergue

Click on the picture to just about make him out.

Bonus at Villefranche marketAnother cold damp morning at the market in Villefranche but this morning we had a treat. It was a "what are they all looking at?" moment so of course we had to find out! A bird watching group had telescope focussed on the church tower so that everyone could have a close up view of a peregrin falcon feeding its two babies. Unfortunately I only had my small camera with me but the view through the telescope was amazing. Sue Carter

Val says His colour is quite different to the kestrels who are much more white, brown and salmon pink

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What is happening Monday evening, the 27th ?

It is our charity barbecue here at Mas del Sol raising money for Via Sahel Enfants d' Afrique. We have 18 committed people ( Malc says we all should be !) all coming to eat, drink and be merry in the sun. Now stop laughing, I have just seen that on Monday a sunny day is forecast, 20 degrees, no wind or rain and I am so pleased. One makes preparations for these things and here in SW France we expect  decent weather now. For all you hardy diners come wrapped up with jumpers but if it is really chilly, we will be indoors. Especially for evenings like this we have bought an outdoor patio heater which does throw out some heat. ( I am glad the redstarts have fledged from the rafters other wise it might have become  a local speciality " barbecued redstart" Bet if I looked in French cuisine books there would be a delicious recipe for them, probably stuffed with garlic!) Malc tells me the heat is directed downwards so not a problem really. It will be our first outside event of the year so I am really looking forward to having "a crack" and some fun.
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Fly the Flag, well we do.

Senators have voted to order the French Tricolore to fly above the front of Schools, lycees and colleges, and display also the motto of the Republic, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity  above school entrances. Education Minister Vincent Peillon says it will reinforce pupils attachment to the values of the Republic, and for what it is worth I agree with him... and we have a tricolore in the grange.
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One in, one out but they are still there.

I have never known us to be so unsure about our kestrels and their activities. Once again they seem settled in to the routine of one on the eggs, the other bringing food. Someone suggested that on the very wet day perhaps the birds were struggling to find food in which case the visits would not be as frequent. Malc took this picture this morning but I reckon he will want to crop it when he has time.Click on the picture for a larger image and just look at those gorgeous feathers.
When it gets to chick feeding times that is the time for you photographers to book a visit here, as the kestrels are in and out non stop with a very varied menu.
Comments to

If you send a picture advert or poster to TAG

If you send a picture, advert  or poster to TAG, please send a jpg.
I can spend hours otherwise trying to get it in to the right format.
Many thanks Val
Comments to

What do you do if you find a dog lost ? Maeva tells us.

Lorsqu'on trouve un chien, il faut l'amener chez le vétérinaire pour savoir si le chien est identifié (puce ou tatouage), il faut également prévenir la mairie et la gendarmerie de votre village!
Si le chien n'est pas identifié c'est la mairie qui doit le prendre en charge!

Val translates  If you find a lost dog take it to your local vet there he can see if it is chipped or tattoed. If it's owner is not traceable this way you must go to your local Mairie or gendarmerie who will take charge. 
The only trouble with that is I would not hand a poor unsuspecting dog in to the hands of our Mayor ( even if I believed he would take it from me ! I have a total lack of confidence in our Mayor )  I think knowing the carers of St. Antonin I would take it to the gendarmerie or Mairie there.
Comments to

Liliane Bettencourt was certainly influential !

I would have expected to see Liliane Bettencourt in the first half of the list - though for all the wrong reasons, admittedly.  Having parted with so much cash in support of Nicolas Sarkozy's election, surely the Oréal heiress' influence should be high on the list.

Comments to

The weather complicates farming matters and affects holiday makers.

The moving of sheep called " les transhumances" is complicated by the wet and cold weather,the farmers   growing asperges / asparagus have seen crops washed away by all the rain. The cherry growers say the season is going to be delayed by at least 3 weeks .On a personal level we have so much lush green grass that is difficult to keep the donkeys in a small area to stop them gorging themselves and becoming ill. We have renters arriving from England at the weekend with children but the grass is so sodden in the grounds and the pool is still cold, and with not very encouraging forecasts I am getting out all the games, jigsaw puzzles and the like. When are  are "those lazy crazy days of Summer" going to come.
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Vegetarians protest in Toulouse

In  Toulouse, in the main street  Alsace Lorraine in front of the shop Zara, shoppers yesterday morning were shocked to see five large trays of what looked like human and animal remains covered in blood and then all covered by cling film. It was a shocking scene intended to provoke revulsion for us meat eaters and as shoppers walked the street it gave them time to contemplate the error of their eating habits. The group are calling for closures of  abattoirs and the debate goes on till the 15th of June when there will be a world wide coordinated action.
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Commune with nature

Dans le cadre des  Journées Nature de Midi-Pyrénées, nous vous proposons des balades accompagnées en partenariat avec le conseil Général du Tarn-et-Garonne et la Base de Loisirs de Saint-Nicolas de la Grave.
Horaires des balades : de 11h à 12 h puis de 14h30 à 16h et enfin de 16h à 18h.
Des plantes, des animaux à observer et à mieux comprendre et une zone humide à préserver.
Places limitées : réservation et renseignements auprès du CPIE Midi-Quercy.
Cette action est réalisée au soutien financier du  Conseil Général du Tarn-et-Garonne, de l’Europe, de la région Midi-Pyrénées, de la communauté des communes Quercy-Rouergue-Gorges de l’Aveyron, de la communauté des communes Terrasses et Vallées de
l’Aveyron, de la mairie de Caylus et de CFM Radio.
Contacts : CPIE Midi-Quercy Maison du Patrimoine Lac de Labarthe à Caylus 05 63 24 06 26 –
(Crédits Photo : Conseil Général de Tarn-et-Garonne)

Do you like wood in all its forms?

Samedi 1er juin 2013, à Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val

Le bois dans tous ses états : démonstrations de savoir-faire artisanaux et métiers d'art guidés par le fil du bois.
Dans le cadre de la Charte forestière du Pays Midi-Quercy, venez découvrir ou redécouvrir l’univers mystérieux et les nombreux usages offerts par la forêt.
Rendez-vous donc le 1er juin 2013, à 14h place du Pradel à Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, pour la seconde journée d’animation « la forêt des 4 saisons », qui s’intègre également aux Journées Nature Midi-Pyrénées.
Durant cette animation, entre 14h et 17h30, vous pourrez échanger avec des passionnés du travail du bois :
Des artisans du bois vous présenteront leur travail du bois, montrant leurs savoir-faire et leurs productions. Venez échanger avec eux sur leurs techniques et leurs passions.
14h : rdv sur la place du Pradel à Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val Départ vers le site de démonstration à 2 km.
14h15 : présentation de la charte forestière du pays Midi-Quercy
14h30 : présentation des intervenants et démonstration des savoir-faire :
clip_image001  Scie à grumes pour la menuiserie, la charpente...avec M. et Mme RAMES, M.LINON
clip_image001[1]  Sciage de long traditionnel avec M. LARRIVE
clip_image001[2]  Cerclage d’une roue en bois par Mr OULLIVET et Mr LINON
clip_image001[3]  Fabrication de manches à outils avec M.RAMES
clip_image001[4]  Lutherie : la création de guitares artisanales par M.MARUEJOULS
clip_image001[5]  Techniques de peinture et de patines sur bois, pour donner une nouvelle vie aux meubles par Mme DE COLONGES
clip_image001[6]  Tournerie sur bois avec M.SEGUY
clip_image001[7]  Sculpture sur bois avec M.FORANO
17h30 : fin de l’animation
L’organisation des « 4 saisons de la forêt en Midi-Quercy » est coordonnée par le CPIE Midi-Quercy.
Informations-Inscriptions : Syndicat Mixte du Pays Midi-Quercy 12 rue Marcelin Viguié - BP 82 82 800 Nègrepelisse Tél. : 05 63 24 60 64/Fax : 05 63 24 60 65 Site Internet :