Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Planning for the garden

Hello all,
With spring just around the corner, now is a great time to start making plans for your garden
đŸ€” A new border, coloured planting schemes, plants to attract butterflies 🩋 and bees 🐝 or simply filling a space 🌾 Fleurs de Terry has something for you.
New this year, why not host a 'Plant Party'? Invite your plant a holiday friends round for a cuppa
️and cake 🍰 and I'll come to you packed with plants for you all to choose from. Plants will be available to pre-order and as a thank you there will be a gift for the host 😃 Get in touch and book your party on or mail at fleursdeterry@gmail.com
I am hoping to have a couple of 'Tea Garden' days and will let you know the dates in due course.
Thank you, hope to see you soon and 'Happy Spring' to everyone

An interesting job offer

For Tagline readers:
I run an English language school for French children from 12 to 18 years old  near Cazals.
I am looking for two new host families or couples for the summer. You do not need to have children living with you to do this, it can suit retired people who welcome a little extra money coming in.
I need someone for 6 weeks  and someone for 3 weeks to have two or possibly three children at a time.  
The  couple or family would need to be Anglophone, (British, Irish,  American, Australian etc ...... )
The children would be with you for the evenings and all day Thursdays but the rest of the days they are all together at mine doing English. 
It is a paid job and can be very fulfilling, the children are almost always very easy. 
Please contact me if you are interested and don’t live too far from me. Eg not more than ten minutes from Saint Antonin/ Septfonds/ Cazals or Montricoux.
My email address is rachel.shamash@orange.fr or you can call on  05 63 24 07 34.

Lovely grub

Delicious Free Range Pork available this week from our rare breed Berkshire Pigs,

Sausages : Lincolnshire and Gold , Pork Chops , Spare Ribs, Filet Mignon, Cheeks (they make a delicious Casserole), Trotters, Liver ....

Any cuts not stated , roasts etc let me know,

Many Thanks

Ferme Basqui
contact naomie.westbury@orange.fr

Fostered dog looking for full time home

Pimousse has been looked after for the last six months by friends after 3 years terrified in the refuge at Cahors. A friendly and affectionate bitch, but needing gentle handling to rid her of those memories. Now she is ready to find a permanent home.  In many ways like our dog Eldo, who had a similar background and who is now very much part of our family. These rescue dogs do make the most affectionate pets for those who offer them the kindness so missing from their previous life.
More details in this link: Pimousse

Nous sommes le mardi vingt huit fevrier

Monday, 27 February 2017

An afternoon at Montauban

I did not take photos as we sat having afternoon orange juice then coffee in the apartment of a newly gained asylum seeker from Sudan in Montauban.
Sitting with three young men from Africa, one from Somalia, one from Uganda and one from Sudan I could not hold back the tears as we talked about another young friend from Chad who two days ago tried for the second time to commit suicide. He has survived... just, but as his friend said " he has just witnessed too many family dead, his brother killed in front of his eyes, metres away, he just cannot get these images from his head. He wants peace and as he was taken off in the ambulance sent his apologies to anyone who knew him.
Malc and I both visibly moved tried to get the mood more up beat.
My message   HOPE
Without hope that things are going to improve for these young men I could not go on and I think these boys need hope more than anything now.
With tissue wiping eyes " I said now we must stop"
 You are safe here and that is the positive, now you must search your dream. The 20 year old from Somalia, a very intelligent young man wants to be a humanitarian lawyer, his dream. He must work towards that now. He can do it, he really can.
Another's dream to have his own business mending cars, lorries and agricultural machinery can be achieved.
Our young friend Malik from Sudan was despondant. He wants to finish his University course but he needs to earn some money to continue. Jobs are scarce and now he speaks French he understands when people say horrid things about black refugees. In some ways he felt better when he could not understand these comments.
The mood changed when I started talking about dancing, Africans love to dance and girls.... they cheered up when they told me about girls they had danced with.

Be thankful for the life you have had friends.
Malc and I know how lucky we have been. You may not want to be as involved as Malc and I but your support, your donations monetary and useful items are so gratefully received.

Unmissable agricultural show

The 54th annual Salon de l'agriculture opened on 25th February in Paris. The Salon is always an unmissable event for leading politicians, even though most farmers are "en colere" at government and/or European policies.
"Imperial": best blond de Aquitaine?
The south west is an important producer of agricultural products and many will be there to display their wares, new ideas or just exchange views with fellow farmers. Winning best in show for their breeds or produce can be very valuable for farmers, as with young Mathieu Darre from Haute Garonne showing his prize bull. The show always attracts thousands of visitors, including Presidents of the republic.
President Chirac was well-known to enjoy eating his way round the show, Sarkozy swore at a protestor, Hollande is generally booed. This year all the candidates (except J-L Melenchon, who describes it as a  "big business" show) will be there, those wanting to protect the CAP from Brussels cuts; those wanting to limit imports; those hoping to promote green policies. All will find supporters and detractors.
Among the themes under discussion this year are the effects of the bird flu epidemics; the use of herbicides and pesticides on the land; the increasing conversion to organic ("bio") in both food and wine production and, of course, subsidies.
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At school in the chateau

Bioule is a small village close to Negrepelisse in Tarn and Garonne, standing on the banks of the Aveyron, and its historic chateau continues to be used as the village school.
Built in the XIIIth century, the red brick and stone chateau has housed two classes of infant and junior school children since 1889, which the local maire considers the main reason that this chateau has not fallen into disrepair or demolition like so many others of its type.
Bioule chateau
Possessing some important medieval wall paintings the chateau is to undergo major renovation work, meaning the children will be housed in temporary buildings until two bright new classrooms are finished - still inside the historic building. Do children appreciate the historic importance of their surroundings, or is it just another schoolroom?
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Nous sommes le lundi vingt sept fevrier

Mark in your diaries, it was a brilliant vide grenier last year. I helped with a stall for the refugees and we took over 400 euros.
This year we will be having two stalls.
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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Come on everyone sign for our rights

Gina Miller needs your support in her latest initiative! Sign up here http://campaign2018.org/
The target is to hit 10,000 sign-ups by end of today.
Sign and share - for best results copy the below picture and share to your timeline and add the link.

Guinness was good for you

The slogan" Guinness is good for you" no longer used as it had no factual basis.
Even so for a Guinness drinker these commemorative glasses  1759 to 2009
250 years of Guinness.
6 glasses in perfect order  10 euros or as the French say  "a debattre"
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Pictures worth a thousand words

Photo: F Scheiber
The story of the "zone a defendre" (popularly known as a ZAD) at the proposed dam at the forest of Sivens in the Tarn, captured all the headlines a couple of years ago. Groups of ecologists occupied the site and efforts to dislodge them led to violent clashes with the police - including the death of one protester.
A Toulouse based photo journalist spent six months at the site and is now holding an exhibition of some of his work at the Photon Gallery in the city. Included are a number of diaporamas which can viewed via your smartphone or gallery viewer.
Frederic Scheiber's exhibition runs until 24th May
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Nous sommes le dimanche vingt six fevrier

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Full country squires ensemble for sale, all that is missing is the country squire


Full country squires ensemble,includes, jacket, waistcoat, trousers size 42 waist and plus fours.
All wool and in super condition.
20 euros


Friday, 24 February 2017

Front page news

French friend Nadyne  tells us this photo was on the front page of the Depeche du Midi today.
Sadly all the young boys have now gone to different places throughout France and will claim asylum here without family by their sides. The government  in the UK lead by Theresa May should bow their heads in shame
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More bargains in the pop up vide grenier

Do not miss at 10 am to 2 pm at Mas del Sol

Nous sommes le vendredi vingt quatre

A  brand new traditional casserole dish bought many years ago for 18 euros. Unused and in perfect condition  10 euros ..  and the bargains go on
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Thursday, 23 February 2017

In vide grenier mode

In vide grenier mode, if you fancy a root come and look Saturday morning, 10 am to 2 pm  Lots of bargains as I just want to move them on and all the money raised will go to local refugees.
Ask for directions if you would like to pop up and get a bargain. I have done 3 house clearances.

New political alliance

Perhaps we ex-pats tend to ignore the French presidential elections, but they are important (perhaps as important as the Brexit negotiations) to our future here. Taglines traditionally steers away from the extreme parties, both left and right and has a slightly left of centre leaning. Given that the PS is lurching to the left and LR heading to the right it is interesting to see that the centrist candidate, Emmanuel Macron, has been joined by the leader of the centre Modem party Francois Bayrou.
The latest opinion poll (for what they are worth) puts Marine Le Pen on 25%, Fillon on 21% and Macron on 20%. Bayrou was not included in that poll, but traditionally has around 5-6%, so if his supporters follow his lead it could put Macron ahead.
The two main left wing parties led by Benoit Hamon and Jean-Luc Melenchon are neck and neck at 13/14%, but no prospect of a pre-election alliance seems likely; perhaps they would rather lose than compromise.
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Nous sommes le jeudi vingt trois fevrier.

Beautiful sunny morning and temperatures forecast up to 18ÂșC forecast. Weather lady on TV this morning warned that "it will not last". But Meteo France is forecasting reasonable weather until next Tuesday, so get out and make the most of it with no Doris to worry about.
Good work done in the garden yesterday with more of the stone heaps disappearing and a quick "coup de tondeuse" to control the wilder areas of grass - all looking neat and spring like now.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Catching up on electricity prices

If you, like us, have received electricity bills this week have you noticed amounts charged for "regularisation tarifaire Tarif Bleu...01/08/2014 - 31/10/2014" and for "01/11/2014-31/07/2015"? On our bills these sums add up to about 10 euros, but this may not be the last, as the cost is said to be "about 30 euros spread over 18 months".
This "rattrapage" is to recover sums underpaid to EDF by those of us on the Tarif Bleu, which seems to be the basic tarif. The underpayment arises because EDF raised their prices by less than the prices the regulator had demanded, putting other electricity suppliers at a disadvantage.
Electricity prices are regulated, but there is supposed to be an open market where one can choose a supplier other than EDF. With the recent controversy over what Enerdis (as EDF is now called) could use the Linky meters for, the possibility to say to them "please yourself, I am off to Direct Energie" seems a no win solution.
If EDF cheated by offering us lower prices they should pick up the tab - not us. (end of rant).
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Calling friends of FET

Our first show of 2017 is Posting Letters to the Moon, based on wartime letters written by actress Celia Johnson - best known for her iconic role in the 1945 classic Brief Encounter - to her husband Peter Fleming (brother of Bond-creator Ian) who was then posted in India.

Funny and moving, Celia's letters describe the rigours of rationing, her work as an Auxiliary Policewoman and occasional farm labourer as well as her more glamorous life on the set of films such as Brief Encounter, with director David Lean and co-star Trevor Howard, and her friendships with the likes of Joyce Grenfell and Noel Coward.

The performance stars Celia Johnson's daughter, Lucy Fleming, and her husband Simon Williams, who will be familiar to fans of The Archers as Justin and Miranda Elliot on BBC Radio 4 as well as for their many other stage and screen credits.

We look forward to seeing you for what promises to be a heart-warming start to the new season.

The bar will be open from
6pm and the performance begins at 7pm.

To book your tickets, please email: fetatlecolombier@gmail.com

Members €25 Non-Members €30

REMEMBER - It’s never too late to become a member!

NB: your reservation will only be confirmed on receipt of your cheque

Ruth Etridge FET Secretary

Nous sommes le mercredi vingt deux fevrier

Returning home this morning from dog walking we spotted the first cowslips (coucou) of the year. In a very favoured spot these will be joined soon by thousands more. Primula veris is a member of the primrose family and the common name in French of  "coucou" or "fleur de coucou" reminds us that it announces the imminent arrival of spring.
cowslips at Mas del Sol
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Sleeping salamander

The common salamander is fairly widespread in our region and work on a pile of stones in the garden yesterday uncovered this hibernating specimen. The colouring is to warn off potential predators, black and yellow being generally considered dangerous. The amphibians do exude a slime on the skin which can cause a rash in humans and make unwary puppies and cats ill. They are also capable of spitting a secretion up to a metre to ward off enemies. These defences mean the salamanders have few predators and consequently can live many years. Their nocturnal prowlings are slow and often the biggest risk they face is in crossing roads. Salamanders are thought to be able to survive fires and often feature in tales of fantasy.           Unlike other amphibians, salamanders produce only a few offspring at a time - the female carrying larvae for up to nine months before giving birth in shallow water. The fact that the larvae are well developed means a high survival rate. They hibernate in rocky crevices or under damp rocks, hence the disturbed sleep of this chap. After being placed on the ground it soon woke up and ambled off to a new dark spot.

A320 celebrates 30 years

Airbus 320: the best seller
This day, 22nd February 1987, saw the first test flight of the A320, designed to compete with the ageing Boeing 727. A single aisle body with up to 240 seats it was aimed at the short haul flights dominated by the American plane.
30 years later more than 13000 models have flown and a family of planes ranging from 100 seats to 240 seats is available. The plane is a world best seller and in 2016 over 200 were ordered. This model is the basis of Airbus's growth into a leading competitor to Boeing and also a model for cooperation between the  European companies that form the consortium.
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Sport on prescription

From the 1st March doctors will be able to prescribe sporting activities to certain patients with long term illnesses such as diabetes, heart problems or some cancers.
No details of what sports will be advised, but swimming will be high on the list. There are many opportunities to walk, cycle or participate in "gym douce" or dancing, that most conditions can be catered for - but most are best undertaken in a group, so "ordonnances" may be to join a club.
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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The rising star in French politics


Interesting "sondage" today says that Macron would easily beat Le Pen in a second round, but may lose out to Fillon in first round. This is the first sign of a re-bound for Fillon after the "Penelopegate" revelations.
If Fillon is to qualify he would also defeat Le Pen, but by a smaller margin.

Buying a new electric bike?

This could be 200€ cheaper thanks to a new government scheme. A subsidy for the purchase of any two or three wheel electrically assisted vehicle, provided it does not use batteries containing lead.
Purchasers need to send their invoice to the Agence des services et des paiements although an on-line system will be set up. The scheme is limited to one purchase per person and will last until 31st January 2018.
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Nous sommes le mardi vingt et un fevrier

Seen at Nice Carnival, " laughing stock of the world" Donald Trump
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Monday, 20 February 2017

Snowdrops, violets and daffodils

Where are the daffodils I hear you ask?
I will photograph them, in another corner of the garden tomorrow.
Beautiful days
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Harris tweed suits

An opportunity for a seamstress
A quantity of suits from top London makers including some from Harrods of Harris tweed suits,  in waist sizes 42 to 44
Is there any dressmaker who for 10 euros a suit would like the material or any large hunting, fishing shooting type who would like a suit.
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Can be seen at Montricoux

Hi Val & Malcolm,
In the church at Montricoux there is an old picture that has been identified as an important work of art in France. It is due to be restored during 2017 so why not drop by and have a look at the before (now) and again after its return. Good excuse to visit our beautiful little village.


David Kennedy Ralph

How sad

A sad story but one that is easy to understand, Brodie was adopted by the present owner from our assoc. a couple of years ago but age and illness has caught up and along with Brodie chasing the families 4 cats, it has all got too much.
For two years Brodie has been a delight, responsive, loving but she has never settled with the families cats. In every other respect Brodie is a delight and the owner will be heartbroken to see her go to another owner.
The owner writes below

Brodie is a very loving and friendly dog.  She is sterilized and chipped.  She is very responsive, good on the lead, she sits on command, goes down and stays, and waits for her food but when outside off the lead, she just does her own thing.  She is good with the dogs and curls up with them but absolutely obsessed by cats and not in a good way.  She is strong and would ideally suit a younger person who has plenty of time to spend outside with her.  She is very easy to love as she gives so much back.
Contact me if interested

Nous sommes le lundi vingt fevrier

Montgolfieres / hot air balloons over Veffeil yesterday morning.
Photo taken by Jo Schofield

Sunday, 19 February 2017

just love old photos

Hi Val
Call to the memory: in the context of a book to come on Saint-Antonin, city of water (society of the friends of the old Saint-Antonin), I'm looking for illustrations that permit to see the 1930 Floods: Postcards, Family Photos... (obviously in digital file) that you'd be willing to lend. If your memories are words, get in touch with me for a meeting. The story of Saint-Antonin thank you in advance. Dominique perchet

Val says  can you contact Dominique , John Dawson

So much for sale

4 Royal leerdam ( makers of fine Europeam stem ware) cocktail / dessert glasses
3 slightly heavier cocktail glasses
the 7 for 7 euros   SOLD

Tea, coffee sugar wooden containers lined with white ceramic, quality items 10 euros
6 fruit glasses still boxed 5 euros
ceramic fondue pot 5 euros
candelsticks, glass bowl and plate 5 euros


The new publishers

A journalist remarked on TV this morning that America has 27 million bloggers; not just news reporters like Taglines, but also those trying to express their ideas or bring their poetry or fiction to a wider audience. There are many who publish their novels entirely in electronic form and who use the on-line self publishing software to get hard copies printed for sale.
A few lucky authors with a wide following attract commercial publishers who will print and distribute their works, even occasionally a best seller.
Albi author Florence Clerfeuille

Albi novelist Florence Clerfeuille has been offering her novels on the internet for the past five years and her tales of a cat have around 10000 followers, but she has never sought a commercial publisher - but now Terra Nova have approached her and are publishing her book "Le Chat au jeu de quilles" - the cat who played skittles. Now Florence has seen her book on sale in bookshops throughout France, believing that those who want a "real" book are a different market to the Kindle readers. The book is a trilogy that has been published as a collection. Let's hope she has a great success.
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Nous sommes le dimanche dix neuf

Another lovely dry sunny morning.
I will be at the Gazpachpo at 10.30 am with articles sold on TAG. A lot to do before I go, donkeys fed but dogs need a walk.
Enjoy your markets , enjoy your day.
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Saturday, 18 February 2017

These guys make a difference

Visitors to the Jardins de Quercy marvel at the magnificent transformation of the landscape at Cambou, near Verfeil. What they dont often appreciate is that the small fee they pay to enter is used to fund a school for girls in Cambodia. A charity "Schools for all" was founded to ensure that girls should receive the same educational opportunities as boys, in a country which lost most of its educated people in the Khmer Rouge purges.
On a recent visit to Cambodia Jean Donies and Alain Herreman visited the school which welcomes 100 new pupils a year and sent some pictures of the happy girls.
Alain checks over the classroom
Looking envious at the lunch bowl
 When the Jardins open again in the spring make your visit a double pleasure by helping these youngsters in far off Asia.
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Nous sommes le samedi dix-huit fevrier

Spring is in the air everywhere you look. Warm sunny days, lots of migratory birds stating to arrive, snowdrops and daffodils beginning to flower. The official date for spring starting is the 21st March.
I think spring is starting early this year ... and I love it.
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Friday, 17 February 2017

Love love bal

A short trip to Venice on Sunday

Sheep may safely graze

Seen at the weighbridge in Caylus, a small flock of sheep grazing peacefully on a few bales of hay.
Does anyone know who the artist is?
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Nous sommes le vendredi dix sept fevrier

A mild misty morning with the sun in view. A lovely day yesterday and another promised today.
We had a visit from the blacksmith/ marechal ferrant yesterday and it was a lovely job well done as in the sun my donkeys calmly stood to have their hooves/ sabots trimmed. Great news that the hooves are in good shape with no problems.
Today a friend is bringing for a visit two refugees I have not met before, we are planning inviting others and having a " chatty tea" ... before we load up a trailer of household items to furnish an appartment for two in Montauban. Tomorrow it maybe an early start driving to Montauban. I am so excited as two of our special boys move on with their lives, not in danger, learning French and both of these lads found jobs an interpretors.
All of us TAG readers have played a part in this, donating goods and money, offering time, help and support.
I can only tell you how grateful these young men are to us.
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Petition against new electicity meters

Stop aux LINKY!
Have you ever heard of LINKY?
There will be more information available in the Varen market on Saturday morning,
February 18.
Please come along, learn more, and sign the petition to refuse LINKY in our commune.

Not many people have heard of  LINKY meter. But since December 2015 ENEDIS (formerly EDF) have been installing these new 'smart' electricity meters in homes across France. Their objective is to have this technology in every home in France by 2021.
What will it cost? From 5 to 7 million euros.
Who will pay for it?
We will. The installation of each meter will cost from 140 to 300€, which will be gradually added to
our bills under the heading TURP (tarif d'utilisation des réseaux publiques).
What is LINKY?
It's a ´smart' electricity meter which will transmit real time information about our electricity
consumption directly to ENEDIS, through a network of wifi antennas which will be installed in the
What's in it for ENEDIS?
More reliable management of demand. Reduction of running costs (thousands of meter readers will
lose their jobs). Profits from the sale of bulk information.
What's in it for us?
Increased exposure to microwaves, both in our homes from the meters directly, and in our streets
from the antennas.
Increased electricity bills - the LINKY meters themselves consume more energy than the present
old fashioned meters. We will be paying for their installation. The meters are also capable of
automatically moving you up to the next tarif band if your consumption spikes, however briefly.
Our personal information, harvested by Linky, is commercially valuable, and ENEDIS can sell it,
but that's not likely to be reflected in a reduction in our bills.
Most people think of smart meters as something that people chose to have installed in their homes, to
help them manage their electricity consumption, LINKY won't work that way - the information
harvested will be for ENEDIS, and if we want to monitor our consumption, we'll have to go on line
or wait for the bill to arrive, just as we do now.
Is LINKY compulsory?
No. More than 200 communes have refused to accept the installation of these meters. Individual
consumers can refuse too. Germany has refused to accept this system, considering that it is not in
the interest of small consumers.
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Thursday, 16 February 2017

One thing after another

Hi Val & Malcolm            we have had earthquakes and floods ,now the fires    can the locusts be far behind?  I do not live in the fire zone but can see the smoke and some flames from the kitchen windows.   459 families evacuated and now worried about their homes being there in the morning especially if the wind gets up during the night.   Difficult terrain for firefighters on the ground.  
Anne   Christchurch New Zealand
Val says, our regular reader Anne in Christchurch sent this photo and news of the latest terrifying event. So sorry Anne for you and for Christchurch and its people.

Two glass vases another ceramic for sale

5 euros the three  SOLD


Three interesting items Sold

selling the three together for 15 euros


Brighten up your gite

Frames, prints and paintings, all 5 euros each,
All now SOLD