Saturday, 30 April 2016

So incredible, but wonderful

Hi Val, we found this incredible person in our woods this evening, absolutely stunning beastie. I found the following info which just makes it all the more incredible....

Le Grand Paon de Nuit The Great Peacock - the Giant Emperor Moth - Latin Saturnia pyri
Its total wingspread is about 12 centimetres. It is the largest moth in Europe and found throughout France especially in the south and also in the Ardennes but does not reach Britain. Like most moths they sit with wings spread. Butterflies mostly sit with wings folded above the body. This one was unmoved either by us holding a camera within 20 cms. It was no doubt a female resting and waiting for the males which at night-time will flock in numbers to mate with her. I recall the tale told by the great French Entomologist Jean Henri Fabre "On the sixth of May I placed a female Great Peacock, freshly emerged from her cocoon under a wire-gauze cage. I do this as a rule because I am always expecting something unusual to happen. I am glad I did. At 9.0'clock in the evening as the family was retiring to bed, little Paul half undressed is rushing about calling 'Come quick and see these moths, big as birds.' I hurry in and see the room full of giant moths. I go to the kitchen where I find the servant, bewildered, flicking her apron at the moths which she took at first for bats. It seemed that the Great Peacock Moths had taken possession of the whole house." There were over forty male moths trying to locate the female.

The house at Verfeil to let

Lovely interior, anyone wanting more photos and info contact Chris Gee
Bicycles and table tennis are available for guests to use.
Internet is readily available in the village and it can be reconnected in the house for longer lets.

VERFEIL is a charming, friendly village with a general store and bakery, a garage, post office, tourist information/library and bar/restaurant. There is a children's play area ,tennis court and boules facility.

St Antonin Noble Val, our local town, was famously used as the setting for the film 'Charlotte Gray' and more recently for 'The Hundred Foot Journey' starring Helen Mirren.
It was also voted the 3rd most popular village in France by travellers.
Beautiful hilltop bastide towns and villages proliferatethe area and a multitude of cultural and sporting opportunities are available.

hair cut in your own home.

 Bonjour Val !

Je tenais à te remercier de ton mon cœur pour avoir déposé mon flyer sur ton site !! j’ai eu un contact merveilleux avec Debbie de Caylus, je suis très heureuse et j’espère qu’ainsi d’autres personnes me contacteront pour un rendez vous coiffure à domicile !
 Bon week end à toi et à très bientôt !
Rose Marie will cut your families hair in the comfort of your home " coiffure à votre domicile "
Rose is a recent new comer to St. Antonin  and can be contacted on  tel  0624467779

Val says  next time I will ask Rose to come. I met her and her husband as they work for the Croix Rouge.

Are the French "heureux"?

There is a three monthly survey of "happiness" by the polling company Think. It finds this time that the average person rates his level of happiness as 5.9 out of 10. Not unnaturally supporters of the Front National are the unhappiest, rating themselves at 5.7, whereas supporters of other parties (even the Parti Socialist) rate themselves as 6.1 or 6.2.
Extrapolating the results it seems that 3.8 million French people are living the dream life whereas 1.6 million are in dire straits.
Here at Mas del Sol we are probably ahead of the 6.2 for which we are very grateful and agree that governments should put happiness as a greater priority, a view shared by (only) 72% of the population.
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Nous sommes le samedi trente avril

Damp start to the morning but the meteo promises hot weather soon.
Yesterday was spent on the mower nearly all day and looking at the grass today it now needs a closer cut. It is lovely having land but it does take an amazing amount of time to keep under control.
The kestrel is still working away taking food into the broody mate, maybe as there is a lot of activity, we have chicks. We also have nesting blue tits and redstarts and visiting woodpeckers and hoopoos.
Yesterday we saw a bird neither of us knew. Black the size of a blackbird but with white flashes insides the wings We have seen it in the same place 3 times and it is totally unknown to us. Any keen "twitchers" have ideas?
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Friday, 29 April 2016

Sad moment

Sent to us by Martin Winn, a long time reader of TAG who once came on holiday to our gite.
Sorry I cannot make the text bigger, but it is telling you that the donkeys all came and made a final farewell to their friend. I have heard this is very important for donkeys who seem to understand death, but grieve if a donkey chum just disappears. A bit like our two missing Filou and Coco.
Fortunately their  half sister bond is strong.

Sounds interesting, unfurnished let needed.

hello Val
i'm looking for a new house to rent so if any of you'r friends have a 3 bedroom place with possibility to have a vegetable garden (my husband is brilliant gardener)around Cordes or Stantonin (laguépi,varen ,lexos milhars verfeil etc ) it be a few years renting as we planning of building our own soon.we ready to pay till 650/700 euros a month.And if the house need work is not a probleme as my husband is roofer/carpenter and we have a lot of friends who are builders.we like remote places,and septembre be the perfect time for us to move.i took the liberty to ask you coz you have a big circle of friend. thanks have a nice day
Val says Samy is lovely, great cook and is looking for an unfurnished house from next Sept.
Anyone interested ?
contact on facebook  Samy Mankolaborde or me Val and I will pass on your email address or phone number.

House to let in Verfeil

Situated in the heart of the lively village of Verfeil sur Seye this house of character is available to rent this summer.

The house has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a lovely courtyard to the front.
It is fully furnished and is available from July at a rate of 600 euros a week. 
Lets of a month or more would be considerably less.
For more details email

Walking along the Aveyron at Laguepie

Hi Val

We went up quite a bit further than the weir and absolutely loved it.  Have you ever found a way to make this a circular walk, rather than there and back again?

Val asks , the river walk at Laguepie is lovely but we cannot walk too far, can anyone tell us if you can make it into a circular walk coming back a different route?
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Sweetheart Sally needs a home

Sweetheart Sally
Only a year and a half old. Sally is a small cross pincher/ terrier. She has a lot going for her, she gets on with other dogs, is fine with children, does chase cats at the moment. Does not pull on the lead, likes going in the car,is house trained and loves a cuddle.
Sweetheart Sally needs to meet someone with a sweet heart.She is puced and will  be sterilised when she finishes her season. As with all the dogs from "Truffes et Moustaches" at St.Antonin a fenced garden will be needed.
Contact Val if English speaking or Maeva if French speaking

Nous sommes le vendredi vingt neuf avril

A bright morning with a blue sky.
Out  in the fields at 6.30 am, thinking it was 7.30! The dogs had woken me and I had not checked the clocks. It was very light and the sun was out. The donkeys were in the bottom  barn and came running when they saw me making an early start.
When I got back in I received a grunt from Malc who was clinging to the duvet, not being persauded  by me or the dogs to get up early.
Sitting now looking out at the sea of green, the sun and the rain making everything so lush. The busiest time of the year in the garden and with a hectare of garden and a hectare and a half of pasture there is lots to do.... too much, never mind lots.
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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Medics in Syria

Dear Valerie,
I am Dr Hatem, the director of the Children’s Hospital in Aleppo.
Last night, 27 staff and patients were killed in an airstrike on Al Quds Hospital nearby. My friend Dr Muhammad Waseem Maaz, the city’s most qualified paediatrician, was killed in the attack. He used to work at our Children’s Hospital during the day and then he’d go to Al Quds Hospital to attend to emergencies overnight.
Dr Maaz and I used to spend six hours a day together. He was friendly, kind and he used to joke a lot with the whole staff. He was the loveliest doctor in our hospital.
I’m in Turkey now, and he was supposed to visit his family here after I returned to Aleppo. He hadn’t seen them in four months.
Dr Maaz stayed in Aleppo, the most dangerous city in the world, because of his devotion to his patients. Hospitals are often targeted by government and Russian air forces. 
Days before Dr Maaz’s life was taken, an airstrike hit only 200 metres away from our hospital. When the bombing intensifies, the medical staff run down to the ground floor of the hospital carrying the babies’ incubators in order to protect them. 
Like so many others, Dr Maaz was killed for saving lives. Today we remember Dr Maaz’s humanity and his bravery. Please share his story so others may know what medics in Aleppo and across Syria are facing. 
The situation today is critical - Aleppo may soon come under siege. We need the world to be watching.
Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts,
Dr Hatem

Remember Joan Baez?

She is in concert in Albi, sat 9th of july
Cannot really say " do you remember Elton John?" Well he is in concert on Sunday 10 th of July

Those kids need someone to care

Over 15,000 signatures so far

Calais Action
APR 28, 2016 — Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for you support so far. This petition along with the one Lord Dubs has started personally really can make a huge difference.

Currently the vote is looking likely to take place around the 8th of May. We'll keep you posted on this.

In the mean time please keep sharing and talking about this issue. You can also sign Lord Dub's petition here...

Thank you!

the place if you like guitars

The two river walks in Laguepie

Someone asked how to access the river walks at Laguepie, here is our answer. The basse nautique we think has had a name change to Escale Guepienne
Hello Anne

The Aveyron can be walked along both banks from Laguepie in the direction of Najac, but we usually park at the Base Nautique (access just after the railway line) and walk along towards the weir - you can continue for miles. It is generally traffic free, but the occasional fisherman may drive along.
The Viaur walk for us usually starts at the camp site on the road to Villefranche. We generally walk back towards the village, but that is only 15 minutes even for us. In the direction towards Villefranche the walk is interesting, but more likely to have traffic to the hamlets along there and the nursery.

Have a nice walk whatever.

Val & Malcolm
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Accrobranche or agro branch ?

Hi Val,

 just dipped into tag. As far as Accrobranche St Antonin goes it's yet another disgrace in the name of green tourism, another bit of our lovely river ruined, trees cut, and what was full of nature & wild flowers is no longer. We saw it in February as it's half way along the river walk. The village is in danger of destroying the reason that people come for, what with the hordes of canoes & all the associated filth along the banks by the end of the season. Green tourism seems to be a byword for destruction of our lovely river in return for money.
 Laura x
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Wait a week for your cream teas (if you can!)

Hi everyone,

Just to let you know that the 'Tea Garden' will be open for two days on Friday 6th May and Saturday the 7th of May as the weather is looking better for then. There will not be Teas this Sunday (1st May) as originally planned as the weather is not looking too bright....! Hope you can come along on one of those days and there will be a choice of Clotted Cream scones, Coffee and Walnut cake or Chocolate fudge cake 🍰

Lots of quality plants waiting for you and of course the garden to relax in and enjoy🌸

Looking forward to seeing you.

Happy gardening,

Terry and Frankie💐

Salut tout le monde,

Juste pour vous dire que les portes ouvertes n'auront pas lieu ce dimanche (car la météo ne paresser pas top) mais sera le vendredi 6 Mai et samedi 7 Mai ! En espèrent que vous pourriez venir à une de ces journées, le jardin de thé sera ouvert avec un choix entre du gâteau au noix et café, gâteau au chocolat ou le fameux 'scone' au clotted cream ☕️🍰

Évidemment il y a pleins de plantes de qualités qui vous attendent et le jardin à visiter.

A bientôt,

Bon jardinage,

Terry et Frankie 🌹

Nous sommes le jeudi, vingt huit avril

A sunny morning out in the field, but little warmth in the sun yet.
The donkeys are delighting in the grass, knee high in some places. Before long I will be bemoaning they are eating too much and getting too fat... before the summer when the grass stops growing. It is not easy regulating the amounts  donkeys eat. I wonder if horses are easier?
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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Accrobranche at St. Antonin

Children of Calais

Sent by Christians for Calais
This is baby Rosie.

She was born in the Calais Jungle.
She nearly died in the Calais Jungle, several times.

She has been teargassed by the police. She suffered from serious breathing and chest illnesses. Her only shelter was often freezing and regularly so damp that the ceilings and floors were sodden and dripping.

She is 20 miles from the UK, still in the Calais Jungle.

Rosie has nothing, but does have her parents. But thousands of other children like her but without even their parents are being condemned by the MPs currently not allowing the Dubs Amendment to pass.

The amendment may be back in the Commons as soon as tomorrow. Check how your MP voted and tweet or contact them to say thanks or to BEG them to vote in favour tomorrow. Please.

The Fifi Friperie takes lots of money for charity

Hi Val
After the mammoth friperie at the weekend , can you post please.
- looks like we made over 1,000€!  Thanks, G x
Well done all those Fifi ladies. What a great result.
The money going to charity.

Portes Ouvertes at Schipper horticulture

The Schipper garden centre is having a four day open door event from Friday to Monday next. For  full details click on their website

Schipper Portes Ouvertes

Order today for a special Mayday gift

A unique gift for 1st May

A pretty cake decorated with lily of the valley flowers. All edible
The cake is vanilla with a jam filling
Supplied in a box. 6€
Collection from Septfonds Saturday 30th April
Orders needed by Thursday

Taxi please

Hi Val
Is there anyone who could take us to Blagnac on this Friday morning, leaving at 7.45amfrom Arnac?   BA cancelled our flight tomorrow, and we are left liftless....   Terms to be agreed!

Diana Jackson

Mobile      07973836235
Landline   02084585791
France      (0033) 0563263118

Plant fair at Bruniquel

This month has been warmer than average!

Trouble with averages is that a couple of dry warm weeks at the beginning of April have skewed the figures so that these last relatively cold and wet weeks have balanced the books.
Meteo France reports that in the region as a whole temperatures will be about 1C above normal and rainfall less than average - though the more northerly areas such as Quercy Rouergue have actually been wetter than average; our rain gauge will attest to this. The problem is that we expect the weather to gradually improve towards summer rather than the backward step of 2 degrees lower than average these last few days, brrr.
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Chernobyl legacy

30 years after the explosion at the nuclear plant in Chernobyl French authorities are still measuring the radio-active levels in the soil and fruits grown here. Not surprisingly the levels are highest in the mountainous regions. Levels of caesium 137 found in various eastern regions exceeds 10000 becquerels* per m2, whereas the norm is 0. More than 95% of fungi from some regions contain significant levels of radioactive material - though they would need to be eaten to excess to be harmful.
Becquerel is the unit of measurement of residual radioactivity named after Henri Becquerel, collaborator of the Curies discoverers of radioactivity. All 3 received the Nobel prize for physics.

2CV mad, plenty of you out there.

Nous sommes le mercredi vingt sept

The Book and DVD swap will be Monday. Loads  of books and Dvd's on offer and all for free.
Penny Smith seamstress will be there accepting and delivering your sewing jobs.
Representatives from the newsletter " St.Antonin demain" will be amongst us seeking our feelings about the referendum on the coming " brexit".
See you all there for my favourite morning of the month.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Smoked bacon and more

Hi Val and Malcolm

I hope this e mail finds you well. By the look of the website, you both appear to be extremely busy.
Just to let you know that I shall be smoking another batch of English Back Bacon over Oak and Applewood shortly and would be grateful if you could post this on the site.
Several clients have asked me to re-asses the 1 kilo minimum order quantity as they feel that it is too much -  so I have!
Customers can now order any quantity that they like and I will personally deliver it at no extra charge providing that it is in between La Fouillade and St Antonin.
I am also smoking eggs, cheese, duck breast and garlic to order!
Cut off date for orders will be this Friday pm for delivery on Monday 23 May via my e mail
Many thanks

Vide grenier at Caylus

Portes Ouvertes

Sheep may safely graze..

One and  half  acres of excellent pasture available for grazing. Securely  fenced with easy trailer access. Shade/shelter under mature trees. I ask only a peppercorn rent (to satisfy the law.)  The meadow is  visible from my house so animals are under a careful eye.

Stroll along the Champs Elysees

If you've tried this you will know that dodging the traffic can be a hazard. But from next month one day each month will be traffic free. Starting with the 8th May, then the first Sunday of each month the road will be closed to all traffic. It was going to be 1st May until someone remembered it is a holiday and town hall staff would not be available to put up the barriers etc.
Arc de Triomphe along the Champs Elysees: AFP
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Big defence contract for French group

Model of the submarine: Reuters
The French group DCNS, partly owned by the state, has won a 34 billion euro contract to supply 12 new generation submarines to the Australian navy. The contract will stretch over many decades, with the first vessels entering service in 2027. DCNS will build the ships in Adelaide in South Australia, but is responsible for design, infrastructure, maintenance and training of crew. It is claimed that many jobs will be guaranteed in the defence industry both here and in Australia over the next 50 years.
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Les Petrolheads next meeting

Nous sommes le mardi vingt six avril

A cold couple of days, will it buck up this morning, I do hope so.
A reader tells me he is having trouble downloading TAG. Is anyone else experiencing a problem ?

The reader adds

Sorry, meant to add that, all the while TAG is endlessly loading (and refusing to let me scroll down the page) a banner at the bottom is on view saying "waiting for".  Hoping this might mean more to you than it does to me...?

Let us know if others are experiencing this.

NOone else has reported problems 
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Monday, 25 April 2016

Concert in the church at Feneyrols Sat. 30th

Could you please post that piece of information on Tag-on-line? Please find herewith attached a poster of this performance (in two sizes). Thank you very much. 

L'Association de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Féneyrolais a le plaisir d'organiser un concert de chants avec la Chorale Double Croche de La Fouillade dans l'église Saint Jean Baptiste à Féneyrols le SAMEDI 30 avril 2016 à 17h00. La chorale est dirigée par Paul-Henry Mériau et interprétera un ensemble de chants divers partant du sacré vers le traditionnel français. Ce concert fait suite à l'Assemblée Générale de l'Association et salue la fin de travaux importants dans l'église. Cette invitation s'adresse à tous les mélomanes et supporters du patrimoine religieux rural. La participation est libre. 

concert with the Choir Double Croche of La Fouillade in the church Saint Jean Baptiste at Féneyrols on Saturday 30th April at 17H00. The choir is directed by Paul-Henry Mériau and will interpret various types of songs from sacred to French traditional.This concert follows up the General Assembly of the Association and greets the end of important works held in the church. This invitation is addressed to all lovers of music and supporters of the rural patrimony. Participation is free.  
Thanks again and congratulations for the fantastic work you are doing to inform our communities. 

Jean Louis Blanchez
Vice president of the Association 
Jean Louis Blanchez
82140 Féneyrols - France
Mob: 00 33 6 01241293

Les Poteries d'Albi

Art in St. Antonin

Can't find just the right bed?

The Big Bed Furniture Company designs and makes beautiful handmade hardwood beds.

There is a very special workshop nestled in the hills quite near to St Antonin Noble Val where creative minds and skillful hands are creating remarkable pieces of furniture. The Big Bed Furniture Company strive to make each piece unique by favouring the use of traditional joinery techniques, many of which hail from structural timberframing.

The furniture makers at Big Bed do indeed make big beds of style and quality, difficult to find in retail outlets and their specific interest is in answering the individual requirements that clients have for beds of a particular dimension.  “Sometimes we are asked to create beds that are higher, or lower, than standard and sometimes a tall and exasperated client with cold feet comes to us with a request for a bed that is extra long.”

Grillades et frites at the Moulin with Michelle and Alain

The Moulin restaurant is for sale

Le  restaurant  the Moulin de Varen is for sale
A beautiful, perfectly placed situation on the banks of the Aveyron in Varen. This well reputed restaurant is open and serving as usual but is for sale.
Many a lovely meal we have enjoyed in the " ambience chaleureuse" Infact we arranged our golden wedding  celebrations there.
Martine and Alain have been the friendly hosts for many years now but the decision to sell has been made. Contrary to rumours it is NOT SOLD.
Martine is proposing Saturday lunch and evening grillades, see the following  poster.

84 Charing Cross Road

For details of FET's production of the play of Helene Hannf's acclaimed book of correspondence with English bookseller Frank Doel

click here: 84 Charing Cross Road

Restoring a pottery kiln at Puycelsi

Hi Val
You might like to put this on TAG. Quercy is our young bi lingual deputy mayor with responsibilities for us non French first language speakers as well as other things. He is seeking cloud funding for his new kiln. His pottery is superb and he is one of the invited exhibiters at the Girosens centre de potterie this year.

André Laban and some of his underwater paintings

Librairie Le Tracteur Savant

We missed this

Yesterday was taken up locally with friperies and flowers but some readers might have been attracted to the Chateau de Laserre at Montastruc-la-Conseillere, near Toulouse, where some 60 collectable cars were auctioned. From vintage vehicles such as a T model Ford to powerful Porsches all the cars were in working order and several had illustrious provenance. No reports yet of Gareth in a new Mustang, but we would not be surprised.
1911 Model T Ford. Pic. France 3 TV
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Laguepie plant fair yesterday

Photos sent by Elly Wright. A great meeting place and a great morning to celebrate plants and flowers. Sadly we never managed to get there.
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Nous sommes le lundi vingt cinq avril

A lovely exhibition on at St.Antonin at  "le tracteur savant" the paintings of André Laban, starting the 6 th of May

A humane cat trap needed

Sid has a problem with a stray feral cat that is living in our shed. We need to catch it to take it to the vet to have it sterilized. It's come down from the farm where there are dozens of cats, we can't have the same thing here. Does anyone have a humane cat trap, please can you ask on tag. Thank you so much, see you soon Laura xx

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Haircut at home

Rose Marie will cut your families hair in the comfort of your home " coiffure à votre domicile "
Rose is a recent new comer to St. Antonin  and can be contacted on  tel  0624467779

Grillades et frites in Varen

Le Moulin de Varen is still for sale

More of the facts coming soon.
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Lumière en Scène

Le Camp de Judes

Nous sommes le dimanche vingt quatre

A bit cold and cloudy looking, not what we need for the plant fayre at Laguepie. Hope it keeps dry.
Our kestrel is still flying in and out, which is a relief. We thought they might be disturbed by a week of visitors strolling the grounds with cell phones stuck to their ears.
The Fifi Friperie at Espinas also today... busytimes ahead.
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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Loyale cannot put a paw wrong

The " ayes have it" ( an English joke )

They eyes tell you everything, and the name Loyale gives you an idea of the nature.
Only 9 months old and cannot put a paw wrong. Loyale is castrated is fine with other dogs, CATS, yes fine with cats and children. He loves playing and being stroked and playing with a friend. That is why for this adoption we would like Loyale to have a " doggy friend"
Adoptable in midi pyrenees and with all our dogs a fenced garden required.
Time is passing and Loyale is now waiting for you.
contact Val if you are an English speaker
Contact Maeva if you speak French

Could you love Gypsy?

Just look at this adorable face, the girl is two years old and called Gypsy. She is lively, full of joy and very friendly with everything and everyone.
Sounds the perfect pet... but she has very poor sight. She adapts well to new environments and just loves life. She is probably better not with very small children
only because she may accidentally knock them over.
She is adoptable in midi pyrenees and is looking for that special person she can love.
Could you love her?
Contact Maeva if you speak French
or Val if you speak English.
As with all our adoptions a fenced garden would be required.

Fifi friperie tomorrow

Doors opening at 10 am at the Salle des Fetes at Espinas.
Tea and cakes of offer.
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Garden furniture needed

We require sun loungers and other outdoor furniture plus childrens board games etc suitable for gite use. Contact Max on 0563022721  or email
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Palestrina in St Antonin

Next Friday at 8pm. The concert will last about 45 minutes and contributions go towards the organ restoration fund.

Hydro-electric plant destroyed near Albi

A small electricity generator on the Tarn above Albi has been destroyed in a fire overnight. Nobody was harmed and the river has not been polluted according to EDF.
The central produces about 4gw/hours of power per annum, so quite a small contribution to overall needs, but EDF says that hydro can produce power quickly at peak times. No reason for the fire has been given, but pompiers favour an electrical fault.
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Plants and clothes

The plant fayre at Laguepie tomorrow and the Fifi friperie at Espinas, great morning for everyone.
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Cherry imports banned

A week or two ago we reported that local cherry producers were concerned that the ban on an insecticide they consider essential to protect against a destructive fly would cause great hardship and unfair competition. The insecticide, dimethoate, is used in many other countries, including Spain and Italy, where cherries are grown. Now the French ministry of  agriculture has suspended imports, including from EU countries, in order to safeguard public health.
We suggest that growers take a leaf out of our neighbour's book and put a radio in the orchards tuned loudly to France Inter - seems to keep the pests away.
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A bit chilly but we had some fun in the grange last night

Malc and I with  some of the boys and five of the French benevoles having fun in the barn. Not only have we made good friendships with the boys but the camaraderie with our French friends is another pleasure not envisaged.
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Nous sommes le samedi vingt trois avril

Great speech President, thank you.
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Friday, 22 April 2016

This month at le riols

Prochaine jeudi 28 avril, F'nJ vient au Riols (ou à le Riols) parce-que la Salle de Fêtes à Verfeil est en renovation.
Next week, Thursday 28th April, F'n'J will be at Le Riols (near Varen) because the Salle des Fête at Verfeil is undergoing renovation.
Hope to see you there - venez nombreux.  L'animateur pour la soirée est Ian.

Historic Albi cemetery abandoned

The cemetery of Albi cathedral is regarded as the "Pere Lachaise albigeoise" (after the famous Paris resting place) because so many of its famous and influential citizens are buried there.
Because it is situated outside the perimeter of the Unesco heritage site and sandwiched between a laboratory and a car park, within the confines of Albi hospital, it is rarely visited and falling into disrepair.
Photo France 3

The site belongs to the hospital, which is reluctant to spend its budget on the disused cemetery and the city already has many important monuments to keep up. So it is left to volunteers with their buckets and brushes to remove the ivy and clean the moss from the sepulchres of the city and department's famous families, including Laperouse and Toulouse-Lautrec. Ironically only the magnificent cypress trees around the site are classified and cannot be managed despite the damage their roots are doing to the cemetery. The benevoles are hoping to get the site classified in order to obtain funding for their restoration work,
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Nous sommes le vendredi vingt deux

Very mild, still in the clouds up here, but a feeling the day will be good when clouds clear.
We have a busy day planned with friends of refugees invited tonight to say hello to 10 young menbefore they return to their CADA's some in Alsace, some in Rodez, Castelssarrisin, and Mazamet.
All finding the cheapest way to get here, bus and blablacar coming up tops. I am impressed with blablacar defintely worth researching if you have a journey long or short.
The long wait to hear if they have gained asylum goes on with a couple still waiting for their interviews. The boys are all coming on with their French language courses and the predominate language spoken is beginning to be French. Those boys who have found girlfriends here have improved their language skills amazingly!!
Cross fingers for a dry evening as we are out in the courtyard and grange.
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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Fish rich in ....metals

We are used to being told that oily fish are rich in omega 3 which is good for our heart, but a French magazine similar to Which? examined several varieties of fish products and (inevitably) found various anomalies. Of 15 tins of tuna tested, 13 had traces of mercury or arsenic, only those of Carrefour and Leader Price being 100% pollution free. Testing noix de St Jacques the magazine found many were inflated with water, in three cases beyond the permitted levels. This increases their weight, hence price. Finally with surimi, many contained almost anything but fish, some varieties having less than 20%.
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Nous sommes le jeudi, vingt et un avril

What date do you think? Malc and I think 60's.
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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Big bed furniture company

bespoke furniture.
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Montricoux exploring the patrimoine

So civilised, breakfast on the terrace

So civilised " breakfast on the terrace"
all before payback.
What is payback you may ask?
A posse of gardeners, weeding, strimming, wheeling away rubbish, etc.
There is no such thing as a free lunch is there?
Oops Muhammed cooked 9 of us a super meal last night... and it was free.
Oh ! well oldies need pampering.
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Nous sommes le mercredi vingt avril

Mild and blowy  outside and even before putting dabber to  ipad screen,  133 people have looked at TAG.
I am always sorry to disappoint when we are having a leisure morning. Leisurely mornings becoming more frequent of late.
Lots of interesting things happening locally at the moment , two interesting talks one at the jardin des Espiemonts and another at Parisot library.
Plant fairs everywhere, the next at Laguepie this weekend and the same day the FIFI friperie at Espinas.
A lovely time of year with orchids, cowslips, quince flowers, apple blossom along the lanes.
Enjoy it, the wonderful spring.
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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

La Seye et vous at Verfeil

 Bonsoir les amis,

Pour vous, le vendredi 22 avril, à La Seye et vous, le trio L'ECHAPPEE BELLE composé d’Agnès Van de Hel, au violon, d’Alain Bardou au chant, à la guitare et aux accordéons et de Romain Delaporte au chant et aux percussions vous invite au voyage, à la danse et au partage. 
Avec dans sa besace un répertoire éclectique, l'Echappée Belle se promène avec légèreté dans les musiques d'ici et d'ailleurs, elle voyage en terres sud-américaines, irlandaises,  de la tradition klezmer et tzigane à celle des Balkans, elle fait escale en Russie avant de revenir en chantant la Tarentelle. Depuis 2009, le groupe entraine son public dans une ronde joyeuse où les mélodies, sensibles et énergiques, font la part belle au contrechant et aux rythmes décalés.  extrait  du concert de L'Echappée belle au Café Plum le 21 08 13  

A manger : Tajine de canette  ou Tofu tajine. Et nos desserts.
Renseignement : 05 63 65 22 18.
A trés bientôt.

Two grateful young men

When we went to welcome these two young men into their apartment in Verfeil' they were working on their French studies using the Arabic French dictionaries a friend sent ( 8 of them) as our Christmas present but for the boys.
Today was a wonderful chance to take the picture and say a big thank you from us all.
These two have asylum, a flat and are studying their French to be able to renew their University studies.
Thank you Liz and Robert, they say they are invaluable.
They made a cup of tea for us by boiling a pan. Has anyone got an electric kettle they could give them?
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Marion confused

A young woman working her trial period with a Toulouse enterprise had her contract terminated because her name is Marion. Her employers had asked her to change it to Marie because they already had a Marion and it could confuse customers. Marion 2 claims it was just an excuse to get rid of her. It can be confusing when too many people have the same name; there seemed to be any number of Charlottes answering the name last week in Henley!
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Train strike next week

If you are planning to take a train journey next Tuesday (26th April) or Wednesday be prepared for disruption. All the SNCF unions have given notice of a 24 hour strike, which will presumably affect trains from Monday evening to Wednesday morning.
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Nous sommes le mardi dix neuf avril

Blue sky and warm in the fields this morning.
We do spend our life chuckling at Mas del Sol and last  night  was no exception. Yesterday we started with 3 of the young men returning to see us all and by last  night we had 4, with two more coming today, another Wednesday, yet another Friday and that is just what we know about.
We were showing other " benevoles" the gite last night and explaining we did not want to rent it as we just wanted a quiet life. We all burst out laughing saying " and this is a quiet life"
One lady was admiring the SMEG fridge as  she explained to one of the boys it was made in an old 50' s style. The lad said my mother has a very old fridge, which made me smile again.
That fridge is my pride and joy and I often go into the gite and give it a stroke.
Enjoy your sunny day everyone, hopefully we will be organising gardening parties.!
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Monday, 18 April 2016

Talk by Jinny Blom

Talk by Jinny Blom, Thursday 21st April, 3 p.m. at Le Jardin des Espiemonts
Garden designer Jinny  Blom, who designed Prince Harry's garden at the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and is the daughter of Francoise the late resident of St Antonin, is joining us to talk about her latest project. She has been working on a black rhinocerous conservation park in Kenya, landscaping around a newly designed lodge in the heart of the conservation site. Utilising local materials, local labour and native plants, Jinny has designed a courtyard garden and restored the site to its natural beauty.

Jinny  Blom  is  a  board member  of  the  Therapeutic  Landscapes  Network  in the  USA,  a  Brother  of  the  Artworkers' Guild and a member of the Garden Media Guild. The studio is in Clerkenwell, London

Places are limited so please email Debbie at  to book a place.