Wednesday, 31 October 2018

France publishes a draft "no deal" bill.

The draft bill states British citizens in France could receive ‘more favourable treatment’ than people from other third countries. But this will only apply if French nationals in the UK are given the equivalent status. The worry is that any promises made by Mrs May’s government could be overturned if there is a change of leadership or general election, in which case France would reciprocate. The bill states: ‘In the event of withdrawal by the United Kingdom without an agreement, British nationals who enjoy the right of free movement and free establishment throughout the European Union, as well as members of their family, will become third country nationals and will therefore in principle be subject to common law, that is to say to the requirement to present a visa to enter French territory and to have a residency permit to justify staying here.’
So if there is no deal, we (and our family members) will need a visa to enter France and a Carte de Sejour to stay here. Anyone living in France without a Carte de Sejour will be in the country illegally. Also, if there is no deal, British nationals working for French companies and with employment contracts under French law may be required to obtain a permit. Without permits, a French employer could be criminally liable for the employment of foreigners. Some professions including doctors and pharmacists, and people working for the French civil service must have French or other EU state nationality. So after a no deal exit, a decree would need to be passed to allow British nationals to continue working.
Particularly worrying for the retired is healthcare. If the UK crashes out then existing agreements will cease and new agreements will be needed to cover healthcare, or France could introduce legislation to allow access to healthcare. It is probably reasonable to expect other EU countries to do the same. Clearly, there is much more to be considered by France, but this at least tells us the true implications of no deal and the dangers of our government using us as bargaining chips while refusing to ring fence citizen’s existing rights.

NB see the previous post for the UK proposal on health

UK Government's proposals for Healthcare

Could this be the cure for our healthcare? On 26 October, Stephen Barclay, Minister of State for Health, issued the written statement below which sets out a new Healthcare Bill for future reciprocal healthcare arrangements. After two years we finally have something which might just give some peace of mind to worried pensioners and other British citizens living in the EU. Today, the Government is introducing the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill. This will provide the Government with the powers that are needed to fund and effectively implement arrangements for UK nationals to obtain healthcare abroad after the UK exits the European Union (EU). Current EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements enable UK nationals to access healthcare when they live, study, work, or travel abroad and visa-versa for EU citizens when in the UK. They give people more life options, support tourism and businesses, and healthcare cooperation. The UK also has a number of reciprocal healthcare agreements with non-EU and EEA countries, such as Australia and New Zealand. These arrangements ensure that UK nationals living and working in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can access healthcare in exchange for paying taxes and social security contributions. The UK also funds healthcare abroad for a number of current or former UK residents. This includes healthcare for UK state pensioners who spend their retirement in the EU and needs arising healthcare when UK residents visit the EU for holiday or study through the European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) Scheme. The Bill is part of the Government’s preparations for EU Exit and will ensure that whatever the outcome of EU Exit, the Government can take the necessary steps to continue reciprocal healthcare arrangements or otherwise support UK residents to obtain healthcare when they move to or visit the EU. Presently, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has limited domestic powers to fund and arrange healthcare outside of the UK. When the UK leaves the EU the current EU regulations will no longer be part of UK law and new legislation will be needed. This Bill confers powers on the Secretary of State to make, and arrange for payments to be made, in respect of the cost of healthcare provided outside the UK. This would allow for the funding of reciprocal healthcare arrangements for UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland. The Bill also confers powers on the Secretary of State to make regulations for and in connection with the provision of healthcare abroad and to give effect to healthcare agreements with other countries or territories (both EU and non-EU) or supranational bodies such as the EU. Finally, the Bill provides for the lawful processing of data where necessary for purposes of implementing, operating or facilitating the operation of reciprocal healthcare arrangements or payments. Current healthcare agreements benefit people in all parts of the UK, assisting people to obtain healthcare when they are abroad. The UK Government is therefore engaging with the devolved administrations to deliver an approach that works for the whole UK in a way that fully respects the devolution settlements. The Bill underscores the Government’s commitment to reaching a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the EU, or where necessary making agreements with Member States, and to exploring potential agreements with third countries in the future. The Government welcomes the forthcoming scrutiny of the Bill, to ensure that it achieves its aims for the continuation of healthcare support for UK nationals in the EU, EEA and Switzerland after the UK exits the EU, but also enabling the UK to look to the future. This statement has also been made in the House of Lords

Monday, 29 October 2018

Giants (including spiders) invade Toulouse

just a part of the Minotaure: photo La Machine
 Think more of the giants in Liverpool last week rather than Dr Who last night, but from 1st November the streets of Toulouse will be the site of a presentation of "The Guardian of the Temple" by the company called "La Machine". Featuring a giant Minotaure and a web-weaving spider the presentation will take place in the city streets, with various acts making a theatrical event. The event is marking the opening of a new "Halle de la Machine" in the Toulouse suburb of Montaudran, which will display such machines.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Vide maison in St. Antonin

‌hi Val

vide maison

foun de Pio, Route de Saleth, 82140 St Antonin

thursday 1st November

10-12 & 2-5pm

directions from St Antonin - go past gendarmerie and take road for Feneyrols, after 1.5kms we are on LHS with white gates next yo a house called Quietude. if lost call 05  63 30 84 15 we'll guide in.

Poorpaws book sale

Good morning,
I am so sorry it has taken so long to let you all know the results of our Book Sale on the 20th October, it has been a very busy week and as my computer is old and a bit rubbish, I have to be able to put by an hour or so whilst it cranks up and decides whether or not to work !
The sale was Our Best Ever and I thank all of you who came and supported us, those of you who could not come but were kind enough to send donations and those of you who donated all the fabulous books.  Our best result up to now was over 3,000 euros and we topped that last Saturday, not by much but topped even so.  Fabulous !
A donation was made to Cancer Support France, another to La Mere aux Betes, I was able to pay off Poorpaws’ not inconsiderable vet bill and there is enough left to keep Poorpaws dogs in food for a few months and pay for some sterilisations which will be coming up very soon.
The Book Team always enjoy the day and I just love going through the thousands of books sorting out the wheat from the chaff, desperately reading like crazy to make sure we give you a great choice.  We are not the biggest book sale around but I like to think we are the ‘cosiest’ and it made my day to have many of you thank me and the team for organising the sales which you look forward to.
Next sale will be around Easter time and we will let you know in good time.
Keeeeeeeeeeeeeep reading !
Sue x.  Poorpaws

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Fall back tonight

Don't forget that the daylight saving ends tonight at 3am. Any clocks you have will need to be turned back - most of your devices will do it themselves. Your dogs will not understand the need for an extra hour in bed.

Concert for a misty Sunday afternoon

Friday, 26 October 2018

Cooking with Jo

Proud of the pompiers, proud of our association Mains Tendues 82

Remise de chèque de l'association Mains tendues 82 remis aux pompiers

L'association varennoise Mains tendues 82, présidée par Valérie Johnstone, a pour but d'aider les personnes et les associations qui ont des besoins et qui font des actes de solidarité aux personnes. Par exemple, aux écoles, aux personnes âgées en difficultés, aux réfugiés, aux animaux, entre autres. Des membres de l'association sont venus au centre de secours de Laguépie pour remettre un chèque de 1 000 € à l'Amicale des sapeurs-pompiers. Le président de l'association, le sergent-chef F. Duval, et le chef de centre, le capitaine E.Cros, ont remercié chaleureusement l'association pour ce geste qui leur rendra bien service, notamment pour la stèle érigée au centre de secours, en mémoire des pompiers disparus.

Cette sympatique cérémonie s'est terminée par le pot de l'amitié, en présence des anciens et actuels pompiers du centre et de très jeunes sapeurs-pompiers.

La Dépêche du Midi


Thursday, 25 October 2018

Men in demand

Men! We need you. Can you sing? The Parisot Choir is currently recruiting tenors and basses. The musical programme up to Christmas is Handel’s Messiah and general Christmas carols. Due to work and travel commitments the male section needs some new blood. The programme for 2019 has not yet been finalised. If you are interested please get in touch with The choir meets on Tuesday evenings from 19h to 21h in the Salle des Fetes in Parisot.


Sounds fishy

We know that traditionally firemen save cats trapped up trees, but goldfish swept away in floods?
The catastrophic floods in the Aude recently also swept away garden ponds, many of which contained goldfish and other pondlife. One pompier found a goldfish in a small muddy puddle and called it Moses as it reminded him of the Biblical rescue of Moses. Posting the story on Facebook, the fish's owner recognised her missing resident (though no word on the many other fish from the pond) and asked the pompier to keep Moses safe until her garden is repaired.
In the midst of such tragic devastation it is heartening to hear of such small acts of kindness.
comments to

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Do you remember Reggie? The dog with no name.

Hi Valerie and Malcolm

Sadly I have to tell you that Reggie (aka a dog with no name from your historical blogs) has passed away. Last June he developed a cancer in his spleen, this was removed but they could not guarantee his long-term survival. It turned out that he lived for another 4 months. The last period being as full of events, life and enjoyment as his previous life with us here. He was truly a Star. Thank you for finding him for us.

The three photos below are:

Reggie and friends  near Treport in Northern France
Reggie and  friends at a cottage we hire in Crecy, Picardie
and Reggie asleep with his matriarchal friend Cilla and me (in Molesey Surrey)

Kindest Regards

Film about two inventive resistants

"Stan et Ulysse" is a documentary film about two resourceful young men who defied the Nazi invaders in the Belgian/Franco border area. Those interested in this period, as well as those wanting to know more about the exploits and "dirty tricks" the resistants used to counter the German occupiers are invited to a showing of the film in Verfeil sur Seye  on Friday 26th October at 19h.
In the Petit Verfeillais, with drinks and nibbles available and a chance to discuss the show with others in the audience..
enquiries to Muriel Fourcade at

A lively but cuddly black cat

Hi Val
 a small cat arrived here at our place some 3 weeks ago... And he is trouble... About 6 months old and full of beans. So much so that he scares our other cats and we are worried we will lose them. By now he is okay with the dog.

So would you please advertise little Toto? He is castrated and is otherwise a handsome boy, completely black and very affectionate to people. Treated against fleas and worms. 
A house with no other pets would be ideal for him. 
Hopefully one  of your TAG-lines readers will want to adopt him


Not everyone likes “le chasse”

In the merde
A hunters car along our lanes yesterday obviously been attacked by a French hunt saboteur, there are French who campaign against the hunt too.
Too many deaths of people walking or enjoying  the countryside makes tensions mount.
I spoke to the chasseur whose car had been covered in cow effluent, he did not know who had done it but felt it was a young Frenchman who lives nearby.
By the way it was not me🤪

Monday, 22 October 2018

November 11 16.00 An Armistice Day Memorial Concert; St Corneille Puycelsi

Mark Opstad is the very well known conductor of the Puycelsi Choir. However if you have wondered what his day job is now is your opportunity to come and listen to the Maîtrise de Toulouse, the youth choir of the Conservatoire.

This choir of which he is the founder director was named by the Lillian Bettancourt Foundation the best choir in France in 2017 and awarded a prize of  250,000€. They will be singing the Requiem by Duruflé and music by Ireland, Howells and Bainton written to commemorate the lost lives of both world wars.

Tickets are priced at 15.00€ for adults, 10.00€ for students and children under 10 free. They can be ordered by phoning Ross and Ginny Jenkins on 05 63 33 15 84 or email

Proud of our refugees

My boy on the right has just sent this message
“Mama next salary I want to share with you an amount for the organization”
I explained at the moment he himself needs every euro and if he has any spare it is for his mother.
Then he said
“Yes I know only I want to feel your feeling when you help others
I promise to help anyone with everything I have, I have learned a lot from you”
Now we are talking to a young man who has suffered and has had to leave his mother behind in Sudan, his brothers and sisters are scattered throughout Europe and yet he can think of others.
Do you know when people are horrible to me for helping and to them for being refugees tell them about this boy.
A future good citizen of France 🇫🇷 and be proud to know refugees....Malc and I are.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Lunch after the book swap

HI Val

I will be organising lunch at Gazpacho after the book swap on 5th November at 12 noon. If you wish to be included please notify me on or 05 63 30 89 29. If you book lunch and then cannot make it, please let me know as at the last book swap lunch a third of those who had reserved were no shows.



Free standing mirror for sale. / Sold

Hi Val 
This is for sale
Freestanding mirror in solid wood surround. Available to collect immediately. 40 euros. Contact for more information. 

To our American friends, the world needs you and your vote

Lots of our American friends here in France. As we fight for Brexit they are fighting against a President aiming to be a despot.
This piece by an American journalist shows why everyone who can needs to vote.

Mohammed Bin Salman's ordering of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is a mistake that will never be forgiven. Right now, the Saudis are saying there was a "fight" and Khashoggi was killed. So he goes in the consulate to get a document confirming his divorce in Saudi Arabia and there just happened to be 18 members of the Saudi Prince's intelligence and security squad and Jamal just got so pissed off that he decided to go full Bruce Lee on the entire lot. Makes total sense. 

Then somehow he got strapped to a table and the bone saw fell on all of his fingers on accident chopping them off and to kind of help him get to Allah, the saw all on its own, began dismembering his body while he was still alive. And then his body evaporated never to be seen again. 

So imagine you're a hedge fund managing retirement benefits and you've got some money invested in Saudi Arabia, you know, that place where they kidnap journalist and saw their fingers off, are whatever investments you have in Saudi Arabia worth doing business with human butchers and torturers? 

This is a level of barbarity that is easily comparable to every despot there has ever been going back to the Roman empire to the sadists in the Inquisition. Because the Saudis have bought Trump and Kushner and that's why that was the first country Trump visited as president. The young Saudi prince became so arrogant that they thought they could torture a man to death who was a reporter for the Washington Post and get away with it. 

What does Trump do about this unimaginable horror show? He's silent. He foments and offers other theories based on lies. He lies about an imaginary $100 billion arms bill. If he died in a fist fight, then where's the body? The stain on our nation's honor cannot be overstated because Trump has no honor. None. Zero. 

What he has done very publicly is kiss the ass of every knee-crawling murdering thug on this planet without exception. The idea of an American president shaking the hands of Kim Jong Un is an offense to anyone who knows anything about foreign policy. He shakes hands and kneels before Putin and the party of liars who could never shut up about Obama's imaginary "apology tour" is now all the sudden silent as that goddamn liar says he loves a man who blows his citizens apart with anti-aircraft artillery guns in public! 

Sure Trump drained the swamp. He had to to make room for the sewer he has installed by putting every incompetent fraudster in every governmental agency there is. Corrupt doesn't even begin to address the level of criminality coming out of this administration. 

What makes me sick to my stomach is that the enabler's and complicitors who help perpetrate this crime against our country are going to get millions of dull-minded blunt-headed ignoramuses to show up to vote for them because the truth is that the oligarchs have funded a propaganda campaign that would make Goebbels blush which has brainwashed tens of millions of Americans into thinking electing this monster is somehow going to help them win something. 

Republicans are actively trying to destroy this country by committing every horror imaginable by taking away people's health care and locking up children. They even tried to put a child molester into the senate! What more do they have to do to shake the conscience of their base? Deny native American's right to vote? They've done that. Deny Black people their right to vote? Done that. Shake hands and praise every tyrant on the planet? They're doing that and now after handing trillions in tax cuts to the rich and corporations, they want to cut social security and medicaid because their 'deficit neutral' *LIE* is exploding the national debt just like everyone who knows better said so. 

Journalists are not the enemy of the American people, Republicans are. You can do something about that in 18 days.
Thomas Clay Jnr

You have to laugh

Alix Reverdin has been a clown for the last five years and proposes a stage for adults in the salle de fete of Verfeil on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November.
The aim is not to teach clown tricks and techniques, but to initiate participants in expansion of their self awareness, using the clown as a vehicle in a game of instruction.
See more of Alix at his web site
The sessions can accommodate 6 - 12 participants, last from 10am to 6pm and cost 70 euros.
Details can be had from Luc Ebran on 0768122715.

One of the posters on the march

Buttons make the headlines

Our button box of interesting retro buttons is now ready for sewing groups to browse. Never knew buttons could be so interesting.
Sets of buttons available from 1 to 3 euros
This excitement is at the frip in Varen. 
Fri 15h to 17h
Sat 10 to midi


Marching for the young

This is who 700,000 people marched for, the young.
Brilliant march, well done all you friends who went back to the UK to march for us

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Kitsch material just in !

Did anyone have a phone with a cover?
Now very kitsch table, lamp and magazine rack.
Fire guard, black metal
Pot rack
Lots of kitchen and bathroom equipment.
Lots of pictures, lots of mirrors
Winter clothes new in, 
Lots of bedding
All in the frip in Varen
friday 15h to17h
Saturday 10 till12

Exactly why we wanted to show our support

hi Val
The French Pompiers, especially les benevoles, are the epitome of the concept of fraternite.

My ex-partner was a Pompier for twenty years and as well as keeping down a job she was available nights one week in the month, the four watches taking it in turn.  This not considering her being available every day of the month during the hours of daylight.

During that week the beeper would go and she would bound out of bed and jump into her uniform returning sometimes four hours later.  Sometimes it was just some old man who had fallen out of bed and could not get off the floor but other times it was a car that had crashed with awful fatalities.  I could always tell if it had been bad.

And then she had to go off to work and try to wipe the memory of the previous night away so that she could do her work supervising maternale kids at school.

I cannot express how proud I am of her for that work and the work of all Pompiers but especially les benevoles.  Selfless people with a generous social agenda.
Gerald Stubbs

Marching today in London for our future and that of our children

For all my friends, for all the supportors of the People’s march today, good luck to you all. Malc and I are there in spirit willing you on.
Marching for a People’s vote.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Pride in our pompiers

Tonight we had arranged a meeting to hand over a cheque for 1,000 euros to the sapeur pompiers at Laguepie.
They invited us for aperos and all the equipe it seemed, young and old were there
Over the years we have got to know many of the pompiers who are also local tradesmen. Our first contact with a pompier was with Marco Balat who when we first moved here 18 years ago was a pompier. We remember  he was updating our electricity when his phone went and he downed tools and was off to help someone.
He explained all on his return.
Since then over the years on numerous occasions we have been thankful for the pompiers help taking us to hospital.
Our association decided we wanted to thank them for their dedication to others hence the donation.
We quite wanted them to go out for a meal and a few beers but it was decided as they wanted a plaque to honour past pompiers this was their chance to do this. It had been in planning for years but our donation made it possible.
We had the presentation then had aperos, drinks and pizza and great excitement for us when we had a phone call from Valerie Rabault, the local MP thanking us for our kind donation to the pompiers.
Terence our secretary and press and publicity officer also presented the Captain of the equipe Emmanuel Cros with a badge from the pompiers at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport where for many years they come under his direction. It was nice to see these two men change badges and their pride in the pompiers in Paris and here at Laguepie.
Thank you for all you do Pompiers, young and old

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Scuba gear FREE for contribution to Taglines charity please

Complete outfit, tank, stab jacket, 2 DV’s, wetsuit, drysuit - contribution to one of Val’s charities.  Telephone: 0625 379304 La Fouillade (Aveyron)

Car for sale

Kia CARENS 3- 2014 7-places 

1.7 CRDI 136ch ISG 


Immaculate Condition   88,000 km    Controle Technique June 2020

Servicing by Manufacturer INCLUDED to June 2021 or 150,000km

Warranty by Manufacturer INCLUDED to June 2021 or 150,000km

Towbar;  Integrated SatNav 17cm screen;  Reversing camera and F/R radar

Returning to UK.  So happy with it have bought another, identical, but in RHD!

Price €12890, market value €14,000

Tel: 0625 379304 (La Fouillade, Aveyron)

Visiting the Capitole

Meeting family from the Uk and my boy family staying in the centre of Toulouse. Our boys speak
French and have jobs; we met up when they finished work.
Never tell me refugees do not integrate. My boys all prove it is not true

What a delight we found in the Mairie of Toulouse which fronts the Place Capitole. The salle des illustres was simply stunning.
 As I said to Sam our daughter, “ how can we have lived here for nearly 18 years and have never been here.
The great stairway Jean Paul Laurens celebrates the Toulouse myth of the seven troubadours.
The salle Gervais saw great artists adorn the state rooms
The room decorated to celebrate weddings is decorated with paintings by Paul Gervais1859- 1944
The favourite salle Henri - Martin has two cycles on one wall pictures of the countryside and the opposite wall pictures of Toulouse. There is also a cycle of the four seasons.
“La salle des illustres” is wonderful too where 20 Toulouse painters develop episodes of Toulouse life.
Malc will love this so next time we go we will stay in the Place Capitole at the Hotel Ibis Styles, eat at the restaurant Le Bibent in the Place Capitole and definitely spend time in the town hall

John Major says what we think too

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The river rose 7 metres in 6 hours

Floods in Trebes: photo Benjamin Mathieu/France Info
Readers will have been watching the dreadful news from the Aude where villages around Carcassonne were deluged during the night of Sunday. Torrential rain, equivalent they say of 4 months' normal rainfall, fell in just a few hours and caused the river Aude and tributaries to rise by unprecedented amounts in just a few hours. A total of 12 people lost their lives in the floods; roads were washed away; vehicles dumped metres away from where they were caught up in the flow; homes destroyed or badly damaged. Inevitably the rescue services were themselves inundated with trying to ensure all survivors were moved to safe accommodation.
A BBC weather forecast a few days ago, commenting on the Portugal hurricane damage, predicted that the tail of hurricane Leslie would sweep across northern Spain and into the Mediterranean where the warmer water would intensify the rainfall over the Balearics and southern France. But it seems that it was even more severe than predicted and many residents were unaware that such a deluge was in the offing.
One or two shocked evacuees were understandably concerned that no warning was given and that the pompiers were late reaching them - but in extraordinary circumstances we are sure the rescuers did all they could. Probably some of our local volunteers will be going down to lend a hand with clearing up the debris.
The pompiers are mostly volunteers who give up their time to train and meet all kinds of emergencies. That is why Mains Tendues 82, our local fund raising charity, is making a donation to the Laguepie caserne on Friday - a donation it is hoped they will spend on enjoying themselves, not just on a new piece of kit.
comments to

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Help needed in writing French posts at Amis des chats

Les Amis des chats is a cat charity in the area we support.
Lenny came to our frip when we had a morning raising money for them to help sterilise cats. I am sure there is another cat lover out there whose French is good enough to write posts in English and French.
If you would like to help cats and Lenny let me know. I have added a picture of the adorable young girl that needs a knee.

Hi Val
I know you know a lot of people and that is my question. The lady who runs the post Stray cats for Les amis des chats is ill and probably will not return, so we are looking for someone to replace her. It is not necessary to live here in the neighborhood because everything goes by email or post, someone who is organized, speaks and writes in French. Maybe you know someone?

Help me please.💕

My friend has found a home, my mum has gone into a maison de retraite. I am a homeless 6 year old girl.
Pleeease someone help me.
I will be good I promise and I am sterilised with all my jabs.
Contact Val, she is trying to help me.

A perfect Christmas present for a history lover. / SOLD instantly

Military history, what a super Christmas present for a French history lover.
The Napoleonic War Experience 
first published in 2006 at 35 pounds
In boxed pristine condition
5 euros 
Mains Tendues 82

A gusty blast brings down the willow

A lucky escape.
I drove down to Varen singing with the roof down on the car.
As there were strong gusts of winds I did start feeling apprehensive as I drove down our tree lined road.
Arrived safely nearly into the village where in the distance I saw a friends weeping willow come crashing down into the road.
There by the  grace of God etc.
I will let our friends know they no longer have a willow but lots of fire wood in a couple of years. Half an hour on my way back the Maire’s men had been and pulled it off the road.

One of the best known (and loved) local personalities has died

Andre Laban at work
We are lucky enough to have met Andre Laban, who died this week aged 89, on a number of occasions and to possess one of his underwater paintings.
Andre, from Marseille, worked for many years with Jacques Cousteau who was world famous for his underwater films. He said he simply asked Cousteau for a job and was asked to prepare the cameras for the filming. Later he became part of the camera crew himself and eventually an accomplished photographer, painter and poet. In his retirement in St Antonin he collaborated with Tim Grosvenor in his gallery to present his photographs (his "One man chauve" was a witty collection of photographic puns on his own lack of hair), his paintings and his book and DVD "la Passion du Bleu".
Underwater painting by Andre Laban
We bought one of the beautiful blue paintings which always reminds us of those days of more than 10 years ago when Tim and other local artists tried to make St Antonin a centre for art, which Andre Laban supported wholeheartedly, and remained its most accomplished creator.
For an appreciation of his life and work, including live footage of him working, click to the Depeche du Midi page

Saga car Insurance

Hi Val
Regarding Saga car insurance, please note that such insurance whether up to 90 days or more is dependant upon whether your primary place of residence is in the UK. In the event of a serious accident as Steve Trinder said, there may be a detailed investigation as to the insured’s personal circumstances to establish whether they were primarily resident in the UK and if not, they would find themselves excluded under the General Conditions clause 2!

Also commenting is another insurance expert

Those of us retired insurance bods in the community have known for years that once you no longer live in the UK you must put your car on French insurance, even if it remains on British plates while you organise its re-registration here.  

Possibly we haven't made enough of the fact among friends, but every word of Steve Trinder's warning piece is 100% true - including the dire consequences he describes, I'm afraid.  


Support the People’s vote on the 20 th October

Saturday, 13 October 2018

A follow up

Hi Val
Re Steve Trinder’s article.
I recommend SAGA Insurance to any people like us who come here for extended periods with a UK car.
They are very competitive and this is what the policy says:

Cover for trips abroad – we automatically provide the same cover as you receive in the UK when you or your

named spouse/partner drive in the European Union, for an unlimited period. If your trip takes you outside the

EU, we may be able to provide you with a Green Card (International Motor Insurance Certificate).


I’m sure other people have found other similar solutions.


Best regards



Apples feted at Penne this weekend

Happy buyers at the Varen friperie

Booted up

Today it was with great pleasure that we had a visit from the President of Laguepie football club M Christian Fabre and one of the trainers Philippe Marre (Fifi). With a donation from us they have been able to buy 8 pairs of football boots, shin pads and bibs for our refugee boys who play in the Laguepie teams.
Sarah Brown our treasurer presented the cheque.
Terence Harker, secretary and publicity and me the President of our association  Mains Tendues 82 happily looked on.

Are you driving uninsured?

Steve Trinder from Assistance Le Cloup Location, who help with management of gites and other rented properties in the local area, has sent a "public service announcement" concerning the risks many UK citizens who live here full or part time and keep the UK plates on their cars, insured in the UK. There may be insurers who will provide cover for year round absence and it is possible that controle techniques will cover such vehicles. After reading Steve's warnings please let us have your experience.
"A good friend of mine, who works at the Association of British Insurers, tells me that there is shortly to be a crackdown. Forget Brexit, forget whether you're driving under a UK licence or a French one - it's about car insurance.
There are many, many Brits living out here who are still driving on UK registration plates. That's fine, as we know, if you're out here for a maximum of 90 days at a time. UK car insurance policies generally cover you for up to that period abroad, after which you are no longer covered.
But as we know, many of those cars spend their entire lives here, and so do their owners. Many others are here for six months, and back in the UK for six months.
An inconvenient truth it may be, but I'm sorry, these cars are being driven UNINSURED after those 90 days expire.
If you have an accident in France, the first thing your insurance company will ask you is "we need proof that your car has not been in France for longer than 90 days." If you cannot furnish a ferry/tunnel ticket which includes the transit of your car, then you are in deep, deep trouble. Not only will they not pay out on your claim and that of the other party, but you will also have committed a criminal offence here, which could lead to a huge fine or even a prison sentence for driving without insurance. Worse, if your accident (heaven forbid) led to the death or serious injury of somebody, then your fines, legal bills, compensation payments and an inevitable stay in a French prison will almost certainly bankrupt you. Car gone, house gone, life gone. And all because you didn't fancy changing your car plates and getting year-round insurance here.

Please, folks. If you are one of these people living here for more than three months at a time and who STILL has British plates on your car, you are almost certainly breaking the law. Not only that, you are putting other people's lives at risk. And worse, you are fully aware of what you are doing. Which is unforgivable. Get the car registered here, and get French insurance. There is no excuse for not doing this, it is not difficult.

Best Wishes,
Steve Trinder."

Off to work

It is an early start for me on Saturday mornings, off down to open up our shop alongside the other market traders.
But I enjoy every minute. Today we have the President of Laguepie football club and one of the coaches nicknamed Fifi coming. 
We will present them with a cheque to buy football boots for 8 refugees who play in the teams there.
I will finish off gathering up household items for a family of 5 moving to Albi, and yesterday we found clothes for  2 refugee boys and clothes for one, who has a young wife and toys and a pushchair for the baby and children.
What other joys will today bring I wonder and who will we all be able to help.
Our team can hand things out but without you we would have nothing to hand out.
Thank you for all your donations

Friday, 12 October 2018

Fuel names to change from today

No longer SP95, SP98 or diesel at the service station pumps, but E10. E5 and B7. These labels are to represent the amount of ethanol present in the fuel, ie non fossil fuel. The labels will be a mixture of colours, shapes and numbers and will be the same in all EU and several other neighbouring countries, avoiding problems of different languages.
No doubt current designations at the pump will continue for some years, with the addition of labels as shown here.
For most of us with petrol cars E10 will the most appropriate (SP95) and diesel will be either B7 or B10 if a choice is given.
This is part of the EU's drive to reduce polluting emissions in line with the climate agreements by indication which fuels are the least polluting (eg E85 or XTL) including hydrogen.
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