Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Come and see the film and support us all

Val says Two years ago 18 young men arrived in St. Antonin, our first refugees. A local lady and film maker Cecile Ordonoff spent time filming the events that followed as the young men settled into their new life.
If you are interested in the refugees locally  why not come along and support and see how our help has set many off on a good life in France 
I will remind you again nearer the time.

Two years later, the film!
Saturday, November 25, we offer a nice evening at the spa with the screening of the documentary film "A winter with boys" (1 hour) Cécile Ordonoff, followed by a meal (concocted once again by the incredible Samira) and a dance party. This will allow us to gather and to exchange widely around the question of the reception and the follow-up of the "migrants" as well as, of course, to raise funds for our association whose work continues.
We will contact you at the beginning of November to give you more details about the program and the needs (installation, bar, service, ticketing, storage, cleaning etc.). But you can already note the date and plan to make good cakes!

Nous sommes le mardi trente et un octobre

Had a lovely walk with the dogs from Verfeil to Ginals passing a big old house that has been for sale as long as I remember. It has obviously been sold and the shutters were thrown open and work was progressing in the surrounding field which is the garden. Another house further up the road here which also has been for sale for an age has now sold to a family from Belguim. I am told the price was dropped considerably to effect the sale. The market although difficult keeps moving, and to all nationalities it would appear. It will always be a difficult market here in the country. No work to attract people and we are just outside of the reach of the jobs in Toulouse, airbus etc. which Gaillac seems to pick up. We are an area for holidays and holiday makers and that is where we continue to get house sales  and of course we can pick up the holiday trade with gites, camping, cycling holidays etc. 
Malc and I just enjoy the quiet lanes for walking and driving now, and it is sublime.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Donkeys need attention

Expecting the blacksmith / marechal ferrant this morning. Before he comes we  need to bring the donkeys back from the neighbours field. Four donkeys needing their hooves / sabots trimmed.
They are used to having it done so are generally calm, a bit of shuffling but no bad behaviour. After that there is the small business of worming them all. Not usually too bad as long as swiftly followed by a nice juicy apple.
Off to have another busy morning.

Nous sommes le lundi trente octobre

Sunday, 29 October 2017

A treat for December at FET

I FOUND MY HORNSaturday 16th December at 7pm

A man wakes up at forty to a broken marriage, a beckoning bedsit, and the realisation that he has done nothing to make himself memorable. Then he clambers into the attic... After a lay-off of 25 years, he seeks redemption via the sixteen feet of treacherous brass tubing he never mastered in his youth. Resuming his old French horn, he sets himself an impossible task: to perform a Mozart concerto in front of a paying audience of horn fanatics.

Jonathan Guy Lewis is directed by Harry Burton in this wryly funny and infinitely touching story about making music and confronting one's private demons. Adapted from Jasper Rees' renowned book of the same name.

The bar will open at 6pm and the performance will start at 7pm.

To book your tickets, please email: fetatlecolombier@gmail.com
Members €15 Non-Members €20

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

Ruth Etridge FET Secretary

Bang and Olufsen vintage

Hi Val.I hope your cold is getting better.
Another item for sale.Bang & Olufsen Vintage Beomaster 1900.Record deck,4 speakers,Sony C/D player.Solid oak C/D storage unit.200euros
Kind Regards Derek

Nous sommes le dimanche vingt neuf octobre

A big busy day for Laguepie today

Saturday, 28 October 2017

It's not an old chestnut

It's a day full of them: roasted; liqueur; flour and cakes, in fact pretty well everything you can do with chestnuts. The annual Laguepie chestnut fair has grown into an unmissable day out, with thousands of visitors expected.
There will also be exhibitions of craft work, stalls selling all kinds of trinkets and goodies; mushroom identification; apple tree pruning; traditional wooden toys; music and dancing. And with fine weather forecast the only downside will be parking, so it will pay to be early.

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Don't forget "fall back"

The summer daylight saving time ends here tonight, as in the UK. So at 3am put your clocks back one hour. This will mean an extra hour in bed (if someone makes it plain to the dogs and other animals), but also lighter mornings and darker evenings.
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Now for "north Catalonia"

Following the unilateral declaration of independence by the Catalan government and the subsequent dismissal of the assembly by the Spanish central government there has been support from this side of the border.
There is apparently an organisation for the "autodetermination"  of north Catalonia, ie Perpignan and the surrounding areas, who feel more akin to the Catalan people than the Occitan people. Robert Casanovas, a spokesman for the organisation said they are ready to welcome a "government in exile" and already have a house ready for Carles Puigdemont the dismissed Catalan leader. They are likening the position to that of 1939 when Spanish refugees poured over the border to escape the Franco regime, which does seem a gross exaggeration of the situation. And the Catalans may remember that their forerunners received a very frosty welcome from the French at that time.
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Nous sommes le samedi vingt sept octobre

All in a days work yesterday fighting a cough and really bad cold.
Went to have my hair cut and styled just after lunch. The hairdressor refused to let me pay and said give the money to your refugee fund. 
Then went to Verfeil where long time friend Anke had said she would help me with the kittens born in the refugee gite, saying she would take on two. We were meeting Marjolean, the Dutch lady who has an association which sterilises cats. 
We met up and went to the gite where we were met by the lovely Africans who we explained our " cat and kitten mission to"
No cats were in sight so we fed them in a certain place to attract them to that area for Monday and Besha said he would do that for the next two days.
 The couple who came with the cat expertise and will sterilise the mother cat heard us discussing bikes with the boys and offered us a bike and said they would ask friends for more. Caroline Trender now " Chief bike monitor" said " make sure I see them first to check them over" She takes it seriously (and I think the boys are all in love with her long legs and blonde hair!!)
Not only is she bike monitor but she is giving specialist treatment for sports injuries and massage and handing me the money for the boys leaving fund.
Then I dashed of in the car to St. Antonin to take Rahims wheel to Peter Quaife who had said he would try a repair.
On my return I read he can fix it.
I got back also to read an email from a friend wanting to donate a large regular monthly sum to a refugee charity which they hoped I would help them with.
NOW as I sit down exhausted, I ask myself how do I know so many WONDERFUL people?
Well because in this world there are more WONDERFUL people than anyone else.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Palombieres still in use

A couple of weeks ago we published a picture of a notice warning walkers to whistle as there was a "palombiere" nearby. This provoked a lot of discussion about the use of these towers in the woods to shoot wood pigeons. It seems that there is not so much of this form of hunting practised in this area, but further west it is still in evidence, presumably because the migration routes of the birds are nearer the coast.
A 75 year old chasseur in Mirande, Gers, was indulging this passion when he fell 18 metres climbing the ladder to the platform of the palombiere. Sadly he died from his injuries. There was a "balltrap" nearby and we cannot help thinking that clay-pigeon shooting is less dangerous all round.
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Student meals with a difference

These students are not content with a pizza (or worse a Subway..), but as catering college students are aiming to produce restaurant quality food and service. We know some readers always look forward to the annual dinners at the Villefranche de Rouergue lycee's catering school.
The students at Castelsarrasin (Tarn & Garonne) were allowed to serve their meal in the beautiful surrounds of the Abbaye de Belleperche. Under the title "Et si Escoffier m'était conté", in homage to the famous "king of  cookery", the students served lobster and  rabbit and displayed their particular speciality which is the art of serving at the table.
The Abbaye was a suitable venue, housing as it does a museum of "arts de la table".
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Nous sommes le vendredi vingt sept octobre

Driving around Verfeil I came upon in the village centre a wild life garden. The colours were wonderful. It was early morning and it brightened my day.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

On yer bike for butter

We used to make butter when we were kids back in the fifties.  
All you need is a jam jar with lid and some cream.  Fill the jar about two thirds to three quarters with cream and then slosh it around for about 15-20 minutes.
Tearing around on a bike with the jar bouncing around in the basket on the front used to do the trick without even thinking it was an effort!
A lump of butter forms and you can drink the whey which is a bit like skimmed milk.

Crise du beurre

Hi Val
Interesting reading on the current "crise du beurre" 
Mark & Paul


Nestor lands on his four paws

Hello all, thanks for your help. Nestor is home with us and happy, just pottering around the garden and house. Our dogs have accepted him so fingers crossed it's all good :-)
He's a lovely boy and I hope he'll be very happy here.
Thanks again for your help arranging everything
Val says thanks go especially to Truffes et Moustaches the local dog rehomers, Sue Glibbery who saw Nestor on TAG and asked if she could help us by putting info on Poorpaws site and then found the adopters. Little Nestor already 10 years old, going blind and with a small heart  problem was not the easiest prospect to rehome.
Another happy story

One to go

Four little kittens who soon will lose their mittens
Four pretty little kittens who could do with a home before the cold winter months.Born in the cellar of a gite which soon will be left empty, their food and warmth source going as well.
We have a lady who will help to sterilise if needed. If you have space for a cutie let me know.
The alternative if homes are not found is to leave them wild if someone in Verfeil would undertake to feed them. Then when a little older they could be caught and sterilised.
The reason I suggest leaving them to be wild rather than a refuge is I saw a letter from a French animal charity suggesting as long as the cat got food and was sterilised it was an alternative to being caged long term in a cattery. If I was a cat I would go for the freedom option if I could not have a family home.
Since posting this on facebook half an hour ago I have found really good homes for 3 kittens, we cannot leave one on its own so let me know if you could take the last one.

Make your own butter?

Apparently the shortage of butter has led to suggestions that people make their own. The recipes involve buying pure full cream and then whipping it (but not as far as chantilly) before pressing it through a muslin to drain away excess liquid, then moulding it to your own desired shape. We are sure it isn't as simple as it sounds, but perhaps readers have their own experiences to pass on. We hope this will not lead to a shortage of cream - its a good job the strawberries are long gone.
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We take it for granted

Hi Val, 
I've just read the posting you put on today about Sudan, it bought back vivid memories of the boys on their first day at Rehoboth. We gave them breakfast & then a few hours later went to find them for lunch. One of the Sudanese said to me "but I've already eaten" I explained that the bread, fruit & coffee was breakfast & now we were going to eat lunch, "but does this happen everyday?" he replied in astonishment, I felt deeply humbled to explain that he would be able to eat 3 times a day. The memory still makes me weep.
Laura xx
Val says and yet the Sudanese are the most generous in sharing what little they have  

Nous sommes le jeudi vingt six octobre

Wonderful weather continues. So enjoying the autumn colours and taking pleasure in our Lime tree in the courtyard before it sheds its leaves. It brings the bees in the spring, it gives shade in the summer and soon it will be sending leaves everywhere, in the house, courtyard and grange ! It is my favourite tree on the site.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Two of our interests in one post

Photography is one subject that interests Taglines a lot and there are many superb photos taken not only here in Tagland, but throughout the world. One of the photos of the year was that brave woman in America defying a line of fully armed and armoured riot police to arrest her for just standing there.
There was the superb Visa exhibition of photo-journalism in Perpignan and the nostalgic expo of sixties rockers at the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi.
You will know that our interest in and help for refugees from South Sudan brings us into contact with these young men fleeing the "forgotten war" which has claimed 300000 lives since 2012. The Sudanese government and its unofficial militia persecuted its black citizens and since South Sudan became independent in 2011 the almost inevitable civil war ensued.
American photo-journalist Adrianne Ohanesian has followed the conflict from on the ground and has been awarded the Prix Bayeux-Calvados for her work from 2012-2017. A sample of her work is available at the link below.
This is a country that European countries now want to send refugees back to, with so-called "safe conducts" given by a president who is a wanted war criminal.

Nous sommes le mercredi vingt cinq octobre

For Sale - offers around €4500

SMART Four Two – Bright Red with red cloth upholstery – RHD – first registered November 2011 in UK – re-registered on French plates in 2016 with European headlights (UK ones still in box included) – only 16,321 miles – full service history in UK & France – new Controle Technique – panoramic glass sunroof – fully automatic/manual change gearbox – electric windows – remote central locking – immaculate condition – garaged in UK and then under car port in France – 1 owner since new
Mark Whaymand  Maison Belmont in St. Antonin

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

No one would speak English to me.

"Hello everyone.. I'm in a panic.  I lost my wallet containing my passport and French residence card.  The last time I had it was at a caisse in LeClerc yesterday and upon discovering it missing from my purse today returned to LeClerc.   I'm told no one has it, but no one would speak English to me.  Has this happened to anyone else?  If so, what steps did you take?  Thanks in advance!  Should I report to the police?"

Val says  just seen this post on an English speaking forum. Everyone tells the person to cancel her cards but no one asks " why would they speak English? We live in France" Has she thought the reason no one would speak English to her was there were no English speakers there. 
Had she said " I could not find anyone who could speak English",  I may have been more sympathetic.
It does make one smile

Harvesting saffron

Fields of saffron flowers
This is the time of year when the purple crocus flowers make their appearance, to the delight of saffron growers. But thousands (in the fields of the growers) appear at once, so must be picked as soon as possible. As it is the yellow/orange pistils which are used to make the spice picking the flowers early in the day when they are still closed is an advantage. As the sun rises and the flowers open it becomes a more delicate operation.
Mireille Boussac in the Herault reckons to pick a whole crop in one day, at 1000 flowers per hour.
Then all the pistils are removed, dried and packaged for sale at 30 euros a gramme. Saffron is reckoned to be the most expensive spice in the world because none of the work is mechanised.
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Nous sommes le mardi vingt quatre octobre

There Is a Dutch lady who lives at Milhars who catches,sterilises and  rehomes cats. We have 3 little kittens in the cave of the gite at Verfeil where our boys are. They live now by eating out of the sacks going to the bins. Sadly the boys will leave soon and the kittens will get no food.
Has anyone got this lady's name and telephone number please 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Book sale raises over 3000€

From Sue Glibbery at Poorpaws

Thank you so much for your support on Saturday.  It was a wonderful day and photographs will be on the News Page of the Poorpaws website at the end of the month.  The sale was supposed to start at 10 am but our first customer arrived at 8.45 !!  From then on in it was non stop, the books flew out the door, the cakes off the table and soup and lunches sold out.  We made a fabulous total of 3,100 euros, every cent of 3,000 will go to helping dogs in need and people in need as a result of being affected in any way by cancer then we made a donation of 100 euros to ‘Donkey Jan’ who runs a donkey charity locally.

All thanks to you generous people !  Happy reading to you all and I’ll be getting on your nerves about February next year, book-begging for the sale in March.  Please do contact me at any time if you want me to collect books from you.  I have a list but because of storage, cannot collect until February.

Have a wonderful Winter !

With love,

Sue x 

Theatre at Milhars

Toulouse health centre to help WHO

Gerontopole Toulouse CHU
The World Health Organisation has chosen the Gerontopole, part of the Toulouse CHU (University hospital) as a centre for research and training in the treatment of elderly populations. The hospital department is recognised for the quality of its work in this field at a time when many countries have an increase in the average age of their population.
The Gerontopole will lead research over the next four years to identify the intrinsic and functional needs and capacities of older people. The WHO considers that most world populations will now expect to have a life span in excess of 60 years and that it is urgent that governments and agencies consider the impact this will have.
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Nous sommes le lundi vingt trois octobre

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Get your boots on

Informative walks around the Abbey of Beaulieu (Ginals) tracing the effect that man has had on the landscape around the Cistercian monastery using medieval tracks.

Sad story from Varen

Varen is, as most readers know, the home village of Taglines with a peaceful riverside site. But for one resident the beauties of the location could not make up for the apparent depression in his life. A 69 year old man decided to kill his companion, then his hunting dog and then, using his hunting rifle, kill himself.
Police are investigating the circumstances and post mortem examinations will be carried out tomorrow. Although police do not rule out other scenarios they consider the most likely thing is that the man, apparently known to be depressive, murdered his companion and committed suicide.
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Three years since the death of Rémi Fraisse

Nous sommes le dimanche vingt deux octobre

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Water in Varen

Apparently it's all okay now. There was a problem with either the analysis equipment or the purification equipment. I'm not sure which. However, bear in mind that had there been a problem, it would not have suddenly occurred, but would have been present for quite some time.

Tapestries restored at Montpezat

The newly refurbished choir at the Collegiale St Martin
Five magnificent 16th century Flemish tapestries adorn the Collegiale church of St Martin in Montpezat de Quercy. Depicting the life of St Martin they were a gift from Jean des Pres, sometime Bishop of Montauban.
The church itself is a fine 14th century example of southern gothic architecture, but the jewel in the church's crown is the 23 metre tapestry. In need of restoration the works were sent to the Belgian royal tapestry makers De Wit and as part of a larger restoration of the choir of the church have now been re-installed. Said to be a unique art work they can now be admired by all. The church is open every day and guided visits are available. Information from the Office de Tourisme 0563 020555.

Pain au chocolat?

There has been much discussion about what the viennoiserie many of us eat with our morning coffee is called: "pain au chocolat", "chocolatine" or some other regional variety. Now an enquiry has been carried out by a group of linguists to nap the various usages. Of course such regional debates are just as common in the UK - what do you think a "tea-cake" is, or a bap?
As expected it depends on where you live what you ask for, and we in the south west of France will commonly ask for a chocolatine. The linguists published a map of regional usage which shows just how confined the use of chocolatine is.
Personally we at MdS prefer croissants or occasionally a "torsade" - a kind of twisted pain au chocolat.
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Is butter in short supply?

The last two shopping trips to a local supermarket has left us complaining about their stock control methods. There was butter, but no "beurre doux" - the most popular unsalted variety. Now it appears that there is indeed a shortage of butter on a world stage. Various factors are affecting supply, such as the increasing popularity of butter as nutritionists now advise some animal fats in diets, shortage of milk exports, reduction of milk in the EU after price falls due to previous over-production are all factors.
Some French producers are switching from other dairy products such as UHT cream to more butter, so perhaps next time there will be butter on the supermarket shelves.
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Nous sommes le samedi vingt et un octobre

The Parisot Festilitt appears to have got off to a good start last night.
Check out today and tomorrows programme

Friday, 20 October 2017

These books could be useful

Elderly text books seeking good home with  hypochondriac, budding doctor or amateur botanist in return for 25 Euros donation to Taglines charities.

Gray’s Anatomy. 31st edition

The Essentials of Materia Medica, Pharmacology & Therapeutics. (Mick’s) 7th edition.

Rehabilitation Medicine (Howard Rusk)3rd printing

Animal Biology (Grove & Newell) 8th edition.

Gray’s Manual of Botany (Fenald) 8th edition.

Introductory Botany (Conquist) 1st edition.

 These are classic text books whose content has  and will  stand the test of time. New owner to  collect please in  Milhars or a meeting can be arranged in St Antonin or Septfonds.
contact dalmusic@wanadoo.fr

Snow in the mountains

Picture from webcam at Le Pic du Midi
Yesterday saw fairly widespread snow over the highest ground in the Pyrenees. This was the first snowfall of the autumn/winter period and the ski resorts will be hoping for more. It seems unlikely that the Toussaint holiday starting next week will, however, be attracting many skiers.

We didn't know they were still going

Every morning for probably 40 years now we have poured our breakfast cereal from a plastic container bought at a Tupperware party. Those occasions were quite fashionable in the '70s as agents, usually stay at home mums, invited their friends to tea and cakes as they presented the latest range of plastic containers. Our breakfast box is testimony to the good quality of the products and though supermarkets and Ikea offer lots of choice, we don't reckon they will last 40+ years.
In a sad reminder of the decline of the brand Tupperware announced it will close its French site in 2018. Having gone from 55 machines to just 8 in recent years there is not enough demand in France to keep the factory open. Some 235 employees will be affected, though the firm says it will actively seek a "repreneur" for the factory.
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Christmas lights going up in Toulouse

No doubt our secular authorities will deny that the illuminations in the principal streets and squares are for Christmas, but our traditions will tell us otherwise. Anyway, at a cost of 700000 euros entirely met from the city budget the lights are being installed now, some two months prior to the festival. The mairie explains that starting early allows all the work to be carried out by its own staff and subcontractors working at night and this is apparently saving over 100000 euros compared with earlier years. Neither is any contribution asked for from local businesses as before. The mairie considers that the investment will attract many shoppers and visitors to the city and away from the out-of-town and on-line outlets for Christmas celebrations.
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Parking fines to double

Motorists' associations in Toulouse are protesting that plans to increase fines for overstaying parking time are unfair. On January 1st 2018 the fine will increase from 17 euros to 30 euros, though no change is proposed to the actual tarifs, which in the city centre are from 20 cents for 8 minutes up to 3 euros for 2 hours.
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Nous sommes le vendredi vingt octobre

What a funny day yesterday, a warm and drizzly morning. Still warm enough for us to sit outside at the Gazpacho for lunch. We had soggy dogs with us, we were invited in but under the awning we were happy. We just love being outside.
How different the afternoon, warm and sunny " ciel de traine" the meteo called it./ sunny and cloudy.
The evening light on the trees was wonderful with the golden leaves lit up.
This morning heavy fog even up here at Mas del Sol.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Fishing tackle for sale

Hi Val.
I have some fishing tackle for sale.3 rods,2 fly 1 spinning/general use.2 fly reels,3 spinning reels .lots of flies hooks and things.Also a catch net.2 pairs of waders size 11 and 6.Asking price 100 euros.ono.
Kind regards Derek
Derek.homes@ wanadoo.fr

Candelabra for sale

For sale: Genuine pewter candelabra, diameter 35cms, height 28cms. Makes a spectacular centrepiece dressed for special occasions such as Weddings or Christmas etc. 75.00€

Nice little wash stand

For sale:

French chestnut wood marble topped wash stand  with three lockable drawers. Excellent condition. Dimensions: 96 x 78 x 46 cms. 200.00€

many thanks,

Sally contact dalmusic@wanadoo.fr

Vignerons "en colere"

Some 2000 vignerons from the Aude demonstrated in Carcassonne to give notice that their industry has been severely hit in 2017. We reported below that harvests were down by about 20% due to frost in the spring and to some extent the summer drought and the vintners want to add unfair foreign competition to that. There have been several manifestations during the year, including thousands of litres of Spanish wine being poured away by militants.
No doubt little can be done about the weather to soothe the anger, apart from some compensation or insurance, and it remains to be seen whether the government could restrict foreign imports, given EU free trade rules.

If you want to sign against the chasse

Hi Val, 

Hope this works......

With very best wishes,

Nous sommes le jeudi dix neuf octobre

It may rain today but what a super start to autumn we have had.
Today people are collecting things they have bought on the TAG facebook site, monies from things I have sold going to the refugee fund. 
Check out the TAG facebook site it is a brilliant selling tool, selling to local people. I put things on and think I will copy it to the blogspot but often if the item is priced to sell, it goes before I can copy it.
The link is in the bar at the top.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Tour de France 2018

Photo Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP
Next year's Tour de France will have six stages in our region, though mainly in the south and Pyrenees. The riders have stages from Millau,  Carcassonne and then four stages in the mountains. The Tour will spend a rest day at Carcassonne as well as ending a stage there and starting there three days later, coinciding with the city's celebration of 20 years inscribed as a world heritage site.
After that four mountain stages to end the Tour before riders fly to Paris for the last stage.


The Brussels branch of Delirium
Originally opened in 2000 the super bar Delirium in Brussels offers over 3000 brands of bottled beer, plus dozens of draught brews.
Now a branch is to be opened in Toulouse at the end of next month. They are promising 500 beers and 45 draughts and to avoid queues and struggles at the bars you can order your drinks via a smartphone app. Proposed in the Alles Jean Jaures this will be part of the plan to reanimate that area in its original "Las Ramblas" feel.
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Nous sommes le mercredi dix huit octobre

What a marvellous week weather wise. I have had a swim every day, got loads of gardening done and made the week so far as much as a holiday as we can.
Pet cuddling around the pool has made dogs and cats happy.

Today we will be in Montauban to say our goodbyes to David Clench. A 94 year old who certainly made an excellent impression on our area in his years here with fellow painter Joyce. Well known in Verfeil and here in Varen, not just for his art work but for his love of petanque and his warm personality.
David on his 90th birthday
David will leave us feeling sad but after the memories, all so good, will keep him alive in all our hearts.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Tragic accident near Montauban

A couple of octogenarians were out for an evening walk with their dog around a disused gravel pit on Sunday when it turned to tragedy.
The wife slipped into the water and was unable to climb out, so her husband jumped in and managed to get her to the bank, but then he fell back into the lake and was unable to rescue himself, eventually drowning in the water.
Having no means of calling for help the woman lay on the bank all night until a morning passer-by discovered her and the body of her dead husband. Rescue services eventually took the unfortunate couple to hospitals in Montauban, where a post mortem examination will be carried out on the deceased body. The woman is said to be in a state of shock.
Emergency services suggest that if you are walking alone it is very advisable to carry a mobile phone as accidents can happen anywhere.
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Grape harvest badly hit

France's signature industry, wine making, is set to have the poorest vendange since the war, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Vintners are expected to make around 37.2 million hectolitres (hectolitre = 100 litres), which may still seem a lot of wine, but is about 18% down on 2016.
The major culprit as usual is the weather, especially some hard frosts in April which severely affected many southern vineyards. The report does not indicate what the quality of the wine will be; many wine makers will be hoping quality will compensate for quantity.
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Nous sommes le mardi dix sept octobre

Tony Smith who lives in Montauban riles amongst other things about these hoardings spoiling the roads. I think he is right to work to stop this " board pollution"

Monday, 16 October 2017

Sports massage on offer

Caroline  Trender says
For the months of October and November, I will be offering sports massage, myofascial cupping, deep tissue massage and swedish massage (relaxing) for the very special price of Euros 35 an hour. All money raised will be to fund the repair of suitable second hand bikes for the refugee boys at Verfeil. For further information, please see my website www.saintantoninsportsmassage.com or to make a booking please email me at carolinetrender@gmail.com.

Register your car on-line

Hi, Val and Malcolm.

Further to last week’s report on the new procedure for immatriculating cars, the changeover for Tarn et Garonne is Monday 6th November 2017. From that date onwards, Montauban Préfecture will not process the paperwork and you will be required to do it on-line or via an authorised agent (who presumably does exactly the same as you would do, but for a fee). Until the changeover the Préfecture will be providing the service on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8.30 to 12.00.

For those of us with cars registered overseas who are intending to immatriculate them here, you will still need a "quitus fiscal" as proof from the taxman that TVA/VAT has been paid on the car. In Tarn et Garonne this cannot be done on-line or by post, and requires a trip to the Centre des Impôts office in Montauban (now 30 rue du Danemark). Although you are probably an individual rather than a business, you need to go to the 1st floor, following the sign for Service des Impôts des Entreprises as this is the office which deals with TVA/VAT. 

Bon courage, anyone embarking on the process!


Well done Fripaffaires at Parisot

On Friday 13th October M. Mesnier from Medicins Sans Frontiers came and gave a presentation at Fripaffaires about the work Medicins Sans Frontiers does around the world. Glynis Robinson, the treasurer of Fripaffaires, presented a cheque for 5000 euros. The talk was followed by an apéro and a chance to put questions to M. Mesnier. Fripaffaires would like to say a big thank you to all who helped make the evening a success and of course to you, all our wonderful supporters who helped make this donation possible!

Every household should have one

Interesting Christmas or wedding present ?  Original 1912 edition in good condition  with coloured illustrations. A fascinating read-especially if you need to know (for example) the duties of the second footman. or the ladies’ maid.  50 euros o.n.o.
1912 edition
contact dalmusic@wanadoo.fr

Macron "not convincing"

President Macron was interviewed live on TV last night by journalists for the first time since his election. It seemed strange that a major line of questioning (and the reports) was about  his use of language when referring to workers and managers who do nothing to improve the position other than demonstrate. "Faineants" (shirkers), ""foutre le bordel" (create chaos) are words he says are in common parlance and not insulting. We are used to politicians just mincing their words rather than engaging in proper debate.
Apart from defending his use of language he was also accused of "favouring the rich". By cutting wealth tax he does not believe in "trickle down", but in encouraging enterprise. "Taxing the rich will not make us all better off" as he claims the popular politicians are arguing. But taxing pensioners more by increasing social charges will, he claims, only affect wealthy pensioners, 80% of pensioners will benefit from abolishing taxe d'habitation.
He refuses to make any hostages to fortune as did Hollande by claiming he would reverse the upward trend of unemployment. It will take up to two years before any real gains are seen, but many other programmes other than the new labour laws will be introduced.
His only comment on the migrant situation was to ensure that illegal immigrants who committed crimes would be thrown out. He considers that France has become used to the idea that it is difficult to send people back to other countries, so nothing is done. "This will change".
Some 61% of people questioned afterwards were not convinced by the president's interview.
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Nous sommes le lundi seize octobre

Lots of talk about the terrible chasse incident on facebook.
Naomi Westbury who raises pigs near Caylus is off to the Marie to complain, worried about her children and the pigs in her local countryside.
Discussion seems to want the shooter charged for manslaughter and I agree with that.
Lots of discussion about the chasse drinking alcohol at lunch and if this is a factor in " wild shooting."
Sadly this year already with many deaths, most have been killing each other, but much more shock when a woman aged either 60 or 69 depending on which paper you read, is killed in her own garden. The shooter taking the shot through a dense hedge,( so he must have heard rather than saw, could have been anything a dog, donkey but it was an elderly lady)
I see the old hunters on our road, they are all elderly but they can certainly put their foot on the accelerater when the hunting horn sounds to tell of a kill. The speed they drive those white vans up our little rutted tarmaced road has to be seen to be believed.
Are they a law unto themselves?

PACS at the mairie

The French equivalent of civil partnerships called "le Pacte Civile de Solidarité" or PACS is 18 years old this year and normally couples wishing to Pacser must apply to the tribunal d'instance responsible for their department. From 1st November the responsibility is transferred to local Mairies. This brings it into line with marriages, which must all be celebrated at the mairie.
Couples applying for PACS are reminded that they should prepare an agreement and provide various documents, so presumably it will still be necessary to involve a notaire or avocat.
comments to taglines82@gmail.com

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A pastel museum

"Pastel" is the plant which made Albi and Toulouse rich. The blue dye made from the leaves of the plant was the best source of that colour (used as woad by us northerners) and in the XVth century the golden triangle formed by Albi, Toulouse and Carcassonne produced 60000 tons of the dye. The leaves are rolled into balls, called "cocagnes" (see them on many door knockers), dried then ground into powder. It is the length of the process which gave the product its value, and which eventually led to its demise when cheaper indigo was imported from the indies. Nothing new then about world trade competition affecting western industries.
Chateau-musee de Magrin
The Chateau of Magrin, between Puylaurens and Lavaur, in the Tarn, presents the whole history of the rise and fall of pastel. Created by journalist and historian Patrick Rufino the museum is housed in the chateau he restored in the 1970s and details are available on its website http://www.pastel-chateau-musee.com/

Heavy lorries racing at Albi

Not some nightmare scenario on the A68, but the French Grand Prix Camions at the Albi race circuit.
All this weekend, including Sunday. Big crowds expected for the 100mph monsters as they compete for the title.
Noise, smell of burning oil and tyres guaranteed.