Sunday, 30 September 2018

Foster home urgently needed

Maeva local dog rehomer has contacted me about this three to four year old dog, a cross border collie who has poor eye sight. It is nearly blind but can see light. Very good with other dogs,cats and children and walks on a lead. He also likes rides in the car. Must have a fenced garden. A foster home is urgently sought until a forever home can be found.
Contact Maeva Vayron, Linda Walsh or me to pass on a message

book swap tomorrow

As well as the book swap some of you may be staying to eat afterwards.
Helen and David are on holiday so I have promised we will get all the books over to Hans at VIDEPC shop just for this  month.
So all be prepared to carry  books over the road tomorrow.
Enjoy your holiday Helen and David.
And see you all tomorrow
At the Gazpacho St. Antonin 10.30 to 11.30

What is happening in the world

Were are our morals, what the heck is going wrong with the world. What is wrong with people who would support a man like this?
Malc and I worry about the world for our grandchildren. Brexit and the extreme right wingers in the UK, the Ukipers,  phew the world has gone mad.
All we can do is keep fighting for sanity, keep helping and loving and showing true respect to all people.
This is circulating the internet this morning.

Seems like an appropriate time to remind readers hat we have an admitted sexual predator sitting in the White House right now...who has offered a lifetime position on the Supreme Court to an alleged sexual predator. 

Birds of a feather, y’all.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Toulouse Lautrec for sale?

Many of us have used the Clinique Toulouse Lautrec at Albi. This clinic specialises in various ailments which can affect the elderly, as well as more common surgical interventions. But because it is owned by the same group as the Clinique Claude Bernard, also in Albi, the competition authority demanded that one of the clinics be sold.
Long negotiations have taken place with the public Centre Hospitalier Albi which wanted to take over the private clinic. But once again the lack of competition worried the authorities and no deal has been done.
It was thought that a buy-out by the staff was possible, but it seems that they were unable (or unwilling) to raise the money needed. Unions representing nursing and ancillary staff want assurances on jobs - preferably via the CH Albi purchase. However it seems that a new private buyer has come forward and all await the next moves.

Varen friperies

Varen friperies, two outlets
Friday afternoons we are now open 15 h to 17 h so as well as donating items to sell you can come and browse and buy.
If you have not been to see our new outlet Friday may suit you better than Saturday (althought the great market is Saturday)
Friday 15h to 17h
Saturday 10 till 12

Library Lit presents a talk on Corsica

An illustrated talk

Corsica:  Land of Magic and Mystery

Parisot Library
Saturday 29th September
10.30 talk - 11.30 discussion - 12.00 apéritifs

Vanessa Couchman, popular local author, has visited Corsica many times and in her third novel (the second set in Corsica) and uses her knowledge of the island's rugged beauty and tumultuous history to paint a tale of her 18th century heroine's struggles against entrenched beliefs and superstitions.
Vanessa will present an illustrated talk exploring Corsican history and culture, rituals and supernatural beliefs.
Signed copies of "The Corsican Widow" will be for sale.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Najac concert for the Handsome Family (and Jason Toth)

The Handsome Family have written some of the most haunting and beautiful songs in American music. During their 25-year career Brett and Rennie Sparks (a.k.a. The Handsome Family) have created songs that transform the mundane landscape of modern life into a place of mysterious portent. As Greil Marcus said, “… their everyday surrealism has no parallel in contemporary writing…” 

There are a lot of new faces at their shows these days, thanks to “Far From Any Road,” which became a global hit when it was used as the theme to season one of True Detective. Both Guns ’N Roses and Bruce Springsteen have used the song as walk-in music and it is often played at hockey games. And, believe it or not— David Bowie’s recently published notebooks contain a line that simply says, “Handsome Family.” Who knows what might have been?

Handsome Family “Far From Any Road” / TRUE DETECTIVE title sequence:

This September, Brett and Rennie, along with Alex McMahon (guitars, steel, keyboards) and Jason Toth (drums, keyboards, sampler) will perform their brand of gothic Americana throughout Spain, France, and Italy, including their stop at Camping des Etoiles in the Aveyron outside of Najac where drummer Jason has been living for almost a year.

Tues 2 Oct 2018
w/ Regis de Najac
Camping des Etoiles
Sourbins, 12270 Najac

New Yoga courses in Les Cabannes

Yoga Foundation Course with Jo Robertson 

A 6 week Iyengar Yoga foundation course for complete beginners. 

Starting - Monday, 22nd October at 5 to 6.30pm and finishing on the 26th November.

Venue - Bonbousquet, Les Cabannes

Cost - 96€

Contact -
A link to Jo's website for more info:

Fashion show for Parisot Fripaffaires

FET October: "a truly magnificent piece of theatre"

★★★★★ "a masterpiece of storytelling... a truly magnificent piece of theatre." Broadway Baby

We are thrilled to welcome In Loyal Company, a powerful one-man show hot off the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it won five-star reviews, on Wednesday 17th October 2018 at 7pm.

Performer and co-writer David William Bryan tells the true story of his great uncle Arthur – known as Joe – who never thought of going to war until the Liverpool bombing raids of WWII. He joins up and is sent to Singapore, only to go missing when his ship shinks and ending up in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

Pieced together by Bryan and his co-writer from family history and documentary research, Joe's story is touching, humbling and at times viscerally exciting, whilst Bryan's acclaimed performance is all the more heartfelt for his flesh-and-blood connection with the hero.

Watch this for audience reaction..

★★★★★ "a great story, and a truly stunning performance." Fringe Guru

★★★★★ "masterful writing and accomplished performance...a hugely powerful and deeply moving piece." Fringe Review

★★★★★ "this epic untold tale of survival is a one-man powerhouse performance." What's On Stage

★★★★★ "a thrilling and intense experience. Don't miss it." The Edinburgh Reporter

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

To book your tickets, please email:
Members €15 Non-Members €20

NB: your reservation will only be confirmed on receipt of your cheque
Ruth Etridge FET Secretary

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Two cats urgently needing knees

Two delightful cuddly cats, both are used to knees but happily hunt outside between knee sitting. Both are sterilised, had injections and all that sort of thing. They have been looked after by an elderly lady who is not able (for various reasons I do not want to go into ) keep them anymore
I have met them and given them a cuddle and they really are sweet.
Sarah Wright is looking after them at the moment and she can be contacted on  tel 0648518085

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Anyone got a wheel chair?

Good morning Val,

I wondered if you could put a request out on your blog. Ive recently broken my foot and have to keep off it. I have been lent a wheelchair that somebody pushes but I wondered if any body can lend me or I can rent a wheelchair with the large wheels that one control's them self.

They can contact me on 

Many thanks

Marion Cain.


Malc says: have you tried at the pharmacie? They have medical equipment to buy or hire, especially if you can get a prescription.

Our second outlet opened in Varen

A report in the Depeche of the opening of our second outlet, raising money for people in need in the area. I am trying to correct a mistake as the reporter says we gave to one cat association when we actually gave to “ les amis des chats” who sterilise cats in the area amongst  other things. 
This charity who help cats can be found at

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Our darling dog has left us.

Some days bad things happen. Today was such a day as our lovely Golden Retriever, Bonny, lost her battle with her heart problem. We knew her heart was much enlarged and affecting her lungs and breathing. The hot weather has not helped her and the vet had no doubt that she had come to the end.

Nearly 13 years old she had given us 13 years of delight. Always patient, tolerant, affectionate and full of fun, if only people had that temperament the world would be a better place. When you lose a beloved pet it is like losing a faithful companion and dogs take your heart like no other pets.

Recently I was re-reading “Lake Wobegon Days” and Garrison Keillor wrote of the death of his old dog – I apologise for changing the sex of the dog and a few details, but it is so right.

“I missed that old dog a lot. She was a good dog to know. She was steadfast of course, as all dogs are, and let nothing come between us or dim her foolish affection for us. Even after her arthritis got bad, she still struggled to her feet when we came home and staggered towards us, her rear end swung halfway forward, tail waving as she had done since she was so young. We seemed to fulfil her life in some way, and even more so in her dotage than in bygone days when she could chase rabbits. She was so excited to see us, and we will miss that…More than her pure affection, however, we will miss our affection for her”

Val visited one of our dogs’ favourite walks and commended her spirit there where Daisy and Twister were no doubt waiting for their lovely companion, Bonny.

Work shops and French/English conversation

The Universite Populaire is currently enrolling for this year's workshops and conferences. There's a vast array of activities to choose from such as Italian, Yoga, Flower Arrangement, Mosaics, Stained Glass and Wood Carving. And following the success of Franglaischange, the English / French exchange group that ran in Caussade last year, we are running two workshops this year, one in Saint Antonin and one in Caussade, and are recruiting Anglophones and Francophones wishing to practice their French and English conversation in a fun and sociable context.

For more information about Franglaischange contact me:

For information about other workshops or to enrol:

British Film Week in Caussade

Attached is some information about a British Film Festival happening in Caussade from 28th-30th September. In addition to an interesting programme of films, and all screenings at €5, we are lucky to have the Cod-en-Bleu Fish and Chip truck coming on the Saturday night, and a proper English tea made by Glynis (Cakes in France) on Sunday afternoon.

Festiltt restaurant/festival dinner booking open

- the Parisot literary festival
19, 20 & 21 October 2018

Priority booking now open
Festilitt friends and patrons can now benefit from 2 weeks of priority booking for the festival dinner on Saturday night.  This event is hugely popular and always sells out very quickly so if you want to secure your place, we suggest that you book as soon as possible - click here to send a reservation email.  Don't delay, the places available are likely to all be reserved within a couple of days.  If you have not yet signed up to be a friend or patron but would like to, click here.  

The four course dinner with wine and coffee included costs 27€ and this year it will take place at Verfeil salle des fetes, not Castanet as in previous years.  The route will be well signposted from Parisot for anyone who is not familiar with the area.

We're trying a new system for lunches this year so if you want to eat with us at either L'Auberge de la Castille or Fourchettes et Cie you will need to book with us centrally.  We're hoping that will avoid the scramble for places at lunchtime! 

L'Auberge de la Castille - Saturday 14,50€, Sunday 20€
Fourchettes et Cie - Saturday 15€, Sunday 17€

If you are booking for the dinner, please just add your lunch reservations to that email.  If you want to reserve lunch but not dinner, please click here.  Please state which day, restaurant and how many people you want to reserve for. 

Second-hand book sale

It's not too late to donate, so if you have any recent books in good condition, please contact to organise a pick up or drop off.  Please do not just leave books at the library without having been in contact with Maggie first. 

Volunteering at Festilitt 
If you would like to volunteer at Festilitt we have plenty of jobs we can give you!  Please email if you would like to get involved.  

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The continuing saga on applying for a carte de sejour

Hello Val

We had 7 working days to produce the documents requested.  We went to Montauban this afternoon to be told that we would need another RDV to give these personally to the Agent.  However, there were NO available appointments until well after this time.  We refused the appointment and were ready to leave the documents on the desk when another women appeared from one of the offices.  She looked at the papers and said that they were OK and took them away with her??

We feel that there is a strong possibility that if couples take seperate appointments it could lead to a situation where, although both have arrived in France together, one could be elligible for a Carte de Sejour and the other not. 

From what I can gather from other people it is just this one women who seems to have a problem.  We will just have to wait and see what happens in our case.


More information

Hi Val
I have seen Hazel’s post re a carte de séjour from Montauban. Perhaps she should pass on her experience to RIFT’s Facebook page, as they are really helpful in terms of advice and also want to monitor the different processes/attitudes in different departments. Those who have been processed in Montauban have nothing but praise for the staff there. There’s also a non -EU chap looking for advice re citizenship. The Toulouse citizenship Facebook group is really helpful too. It’s called British People Gaining French Citizenship Together in Toulouse but I’ve also seen queries from non-EU people and they may be able to point the man in the right direction if they can’t help him themselves.
Sarah Brown

Monday, 17 September 2018

Oh dear, not good

Last week we managed to secure a cancellation for John to to to Montauban to apply for his Carte de Sejour.  We met a lovely man who asked for each piece of information in a clear voice.  When it came to proving that we had lived in France for 5 years he selected copies of the Taxe Foncieres and d'habitation (along with originals) from the things we had provided (electricity bills, telephone bills etc).  It was a pleasant experience.  My appointment this afternoon was totally different.

Armed with the same file as last week we confidently approached the office and came face to face with a small women with short, dark hair.  Then the nightmre began.  It started off OK with my personal information but proving our 5 years here became difficult.  She rejected everything from last week and demanded our Tax Returns.   Not a problem we had copies of the front sheet that showed our number and how much tax we had been asked for.  Not enough, she also wants the 2nd sheet and also proof that we have actually paid.

We now have a piece of paper showing what information she needs with a directive that we have to deliver them by hand and give them to her.  She did relent a bit here and has said we can send them by post but there is no way we are going to send original copies of our tax returns in the post.  To get this card we have to do as she says but think this is french bureaucracy at its worse or best depending on which side you are on.

Hazel Armfield
Val says our RDV is the 2nd Oct. I hope we get the man
Malc adds: according to your avis there is no need to produce original tax returns for official purposes, provided you have a photocopy verified by a revenue site :
However I have only managed to have recent years verified despite it apparently having been publicised since 2015

Book swap lunch

This is to remind you that there will be a book swap lunch on Monday 1st October at 12 noon. As I will be away, I need to have final numbers no later than Friday 21st so if you wish to be included for lunch please let me know if you haven’t already done so.

Many thanks.


Autumn weekend at Espinas

As we cross the autumn equinox (even if the weather seems to be resisting it) next weekend, Espinas is planning a celebration, with theatre on Saturday and a vide grenier on Sunday.

Our best wishes to Sarah

My bestest work buddy Sarah Brown had an accident yesterday and fell down their stone steps breaking not just one but both ankles. Poor Sarah will probably have the next two or three months in a wheel chair. Our thoughts go to her and to Gareth who from experience when Malc was ill I know how hard it is for the carer.
Without Sarah my right hand man and with two outlets now opened it is also going to be a struggle for Mains Tendues 82. If you had thought of offering help now might be the time, even if it is just for the winter months. We need people to help us pick up donations, sort donations and help in the shop Saturday morning for a couple of hours. Contact me privately if you want to find out more.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Acquiring French nationality

Hello Di

I saw your question on Val's blog, Tag Lines.  

I don't think there's any particular privilege given to EU nationals when it comes to acquiring French citizenship - it's something I think is open equally to people of all nationalities who are legally resident here.  Were it not, I think the Poms who are whingeing about Brexit (me included) would have it on their long list of privileges they stand to lose when the UK leaves the EU.  

The regulations governing the grant of French nationality state that the Interior Ministry has 2 years to decide whether to say yes or no in any individual case, and that this is reduced to 1 year if the applicant has been French resident for more than 10 years.  I don't know which applies if an applicant passes the 10 year point while their application is being processed! 

Hope this helps in some small measure.

Best wishes


Resonances in the garden

Jean Donies welcomes visitors to the Jardins de Quercy
For the Patrimoine weekend we went to hear and see the duo "Winner Team" in the superb setting of the Jardins de Quercy, between Varen and Verfeil. Created over the last 25 years the bare hillside has been transformed into a series of gardens which represent different themes and heritages.
Winner Team
The day was sunny and warm, but not too hot and we were helped around the difficult paths by one of the creators, Alain Herreman who took the time to escort Malc along tricky passages, carrying stools to ensure that Taglines had seats in the shade.
The musicians, on clarinet and accordion, played in three different gardens with talent and humour. The music ranged from klezmer via tango to Sidney Bechet, with a not too subtle reference to the French World Cup triumph in the shape of Queen's "We Are the Champions (of the world)". The audience joined in with singing and well deserved applause.
John Donies the fellow garden creator reminded us that payments taken for entry to the gardens are to fund an association called "Toutes a l'ecole", which funds schools for girls' education in Cambodia (though today entry was free).
Music in the garden settings
The lovely afternoon at Cambou was just a refresher for so many of us there today, but the gardens are open each week in the summer, so get along there before it closes for the winter.
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What a great week end

Well our second frip is open in Varen, one for clothes, one for furniture and bric a brac.
It was a really busy couple of days.
Thanks to Everyone who donated cakes and to Caroline Mills who donated cakes and brought bunting for the building giving a lovely festive 
Thank you also to all who came and hope you will continue to support us.

The sky here last night

Wonderful sky last night, Malc took this photo about 8.30pm

Contraband cigarettes here..

"carotte" at metro station Barbes: screen capture
A Paris metro station well-known to be a place where sellers of contraband cigarettes can be found was embellished with a fake "carotte" as the famous tabac sign is known.
During the night of Friday/Saturday some unknown person attached the sign to the wall outside the station, to the amusement of passers-by and the anger of local "buralistes", as tobacconists are called.
In a time when addicts can apparently order cocaine or cannabis by text from local dealers in many big cities, putting up a sign seems a little old fashioned. However, the sale of counterfeit or contraband cigarettes is wide-spread in cities near the borders of countries where tobacco is cheaper and is leading to gang warfare on a scale reminiscent of other drug wars.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Calling Aussies, Americans et al

Hi Val
Trust all is well in your neck of the woods.
I have a question for any of your readers who are non-EU residents. eg Aust, NZ, Canadian, US. Can someone tell me how long it took to be approved as an EU National. I mainly hear of the experiences of Brits (EU citizens), but i can't recall anyone in the same bracket as us (Aust citizens) who have applied for citizenship. I'm keen to know the length of time it took, accepting the variations that occur across Prefectures. Also any additional information as to the process would be welcomed. 

This artist can amuse (sometimes)

Pic : Remi Benoit
Taglines has covered several of the installations of James Colomina, an artist and sculptor from Toulouse. His trademark work is to place a human figure, always red, in unexpected poses and places. This time he has taken advantage of restoration work on the statue of Jeanne D'Arc, in the eponymous Toulouse square, to place a red man on the empty plinth.
But the figure has an apple for his head. Colomina explains that the apple represents unnecessary consumption, as the apple was temptation to consume, which mankind (in the figure of Adam) chose to ignore.
The artist's work is well known and has been shown in Paris and New York, as well as the streets of Toulouse. Replacing the Maid of Orleans with an apple headed man will amuse many and cause some to protest. Art can be like that!
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Friday, 14 September 2018

Loto money to preserve the heritage

This Patrimoine (heritage) weekend is to celebrate and visit those structures which form part of France's heritage - not just old buildings, but newer projects which capture the imagination of all generations.
The system of protection and preservation has existed since the first patrimoine fund was established in 1819 and communes have been charged with dealing with upkeep of their cultural heritage. Now a lottery has ben set up by FDJ, the body charged with operation of the various lotteries and scratch cards sold in France, with the sole aim of supporting heritage projects. The "patrimoine" loto is expected to raise up to 20 million euros via the cards and the lottery, the first draw of which will be made tonight.
With a jackpot of 13 million euros over 250 projects stand to benefit, projects which have bid for funding and range from historic abbeys to abandoned railway installations.
Buyers of the tickets and cards may be attracted by the prospect of a big win rather than saving the patrimoine, but perhaps the ends justify the means.
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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Patrimoine weekend: many events to celebrate

Taglines has published many of the concerts and exhibitions this European Patrimoine days. Just a reminder of one in a superb garden: les Jardins de Quercy on Sunday, 14.30, entry free.
For a complete national guide click on the link, then choose the department you want and many of the events have a link to opening times etc.

Art exhibition in Caussade

I am very pleased to invite you to the Private View of the ART QUERCY 2018 exhibition on 

Wednesday 19 September 2018 at 18.00 hours

Together with my artist colleagues, as well as the entire team at ART QUERCY, 

I look forward to welcoming you to show you our new paintings, sculptures, photos and installations.

Espace Bonnaïs,

Avenue de la Solidarité, 82300 Caussade

Free entry from 10 to 19 hours every day from 19-27 September 2018 +44 7790 858438 / 060 2248 187

Opening Friday 15h to 17h Varen opposite the halle

Our second friperie opens tomorrow in the centre of Varen opposite the halle.
We will now have a clothes boutique in the old mairie and in the old hotel it will be the larger furniture and bric a brac.
Grand opening at 3 pm. / 15h
Hope to see you there, coffee, tea and cakes on offer
Normal opening times Saturday 10 to 12, every Saturday throughout the year.
friday 13h a 15h  to bring your donations

Concert at the Abbaye de Beaulieu.

Farah et Abderrahmane, que vous avez déjà eu le plaisir, peut-être, d'écouter au château de Bruniquel ou à la Caverne, donnent un concert à l'Abbaye de Beaulieu samedi 15 sept. À 17h. 

Farah chante, Abderrahmane joue du saz, ils sont très jeunes et tous deux syriens réfugiés à Toulouse depuis quelques mois.

En résonance avec l'exposition "Exils" présentée dans le dortoir des convers : œuvres d'artistes de différentes nationalités exilés en France 

Venez nombreux/ses les encourager dans ce magnifique lieu !

More information about Brexit

Surveys of UK citizens living and working in EU countries suggest that many either are 1) bored with Brexit, 2) know nothing about it, 3) are terrified and anxious, or 4) hiding from it in the hope it goes away.

This link from ECREU, an organisation concerned with the effects of Brexit (without being pro or con in principle) covers the progress or lack of it towards an exit agreement and how it could impact on our lives, dealing especially in a "no deal" scenario.

It is worth a read.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Donkeys being rehomed

Hi Val, can you post this please:

As I am retiring from active donkey rescue next year I have several donkeys/mules/ponies to place. Do you have the commitment, land and shelter but most importantly the time and love to offer a life long home to any of my best friends.  These donkeys have been taken in either direct from the butchers or horse meat markets. After much care and attention they are now in a perfect condition. 
Admin, hope this is ok as I am a registered Association, if not pls delete !
Jan Lemmy. Liberte des Anes

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

IPHONE found

IPhone found


Someone brought me today an iPhone in a red leather case, which has been found somewhere on the ‘causses’ near Saint Antonin Noble Val by a French lady who was taking a walk. We charged it and can see that it has been blocked by the owner. The iPhone is installed in English so the owner probably is from the UK or any other English speaking country.

If someone is missing an iPhone like that, please contact me on 06 43 73 46 97 or pop-in in my shop in Saint Antonin (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday morning).


Hans Buijserd, VIDEPC

Donkey lunch and before long an end of an era for Jan

From: <>
 jan lemmy <>

Dear friends of the donkeys

At last I've got friends together to cook a lovely meal for you all on Thursday 20 September.
I do hope lots of you will come along to support us.

Our shop will be open from 12 o'clock serving an aperitif, then lunch is starting at 1 o'clock,
here's our exciting menu ...

Vichyssoise soup

Beef and orange stew with mushrooms, or
Hearty shepherds pie

Vegetarian terrine with a spicey sauce

Apricot tart with cream, or
Lemon ice cream

All proceeds to help the donkeys.   The fields here are still like the desert and your
contribution of 17 euros a head will buy much needed hay and pay towards the high farrier
and veterinary costs that we incur.

I should add that with my impending retirement next year I am desperately looking to place my
donkeys/mules/ponies into good life long homes to carry on being cared for throughout their lives.
Any contacts you may have please put them in touch.

Also if there's anyone out there who could help with the towing of our horse box that would be
marvellous as I have several donkeys waiting to leave to be delivered locally.

Thank you all in advance and I look forward to seeing old friends and new on the 20th.

Jan xxx