Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Fete de la musique

Hello good people,

Annie and I have two Weatherman shows fast approaching ...

21 Juin // Fête de la musique de Beauregard

We've heard wonderful things about this fête and the Beauregard scene in general so we are thrilled to take part. We play around 22h30.


30 Juin // Vallée & Co.
w/ Osaka Camping

Vallée & Co, qui occupe un super lieu à côté de St Antonin Noble Val, la vallée donc, au lieu dit Begayne à Ginals. 


Here is a taste of our music:

I invite you to subscribe to our youtube channel:

And follow on Instagram:

Hope to see you soon,
xo Jason & Annie


Quick update

As Malc is still in hospital into his third week now,mt  time is very limited.
Thanks for all your supportive messages and Malc now has his laptop and getting wifi from his phone.

Tampa refugee wins top award


Sent by our reader in New Zealand

Thank you 

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Looking for lodgings for 4 days

Can anyone help with lodgings for our group coming to play at the Picnic in the Park.? July 21 st to the 25 th
If you could put up one or two or even the 4 it would be great. 

The ideal situation would be a house for 4 days were they can rehearse , eat and sleep. 
Ank and I are asking around but it will be high season that week; the little gite near the church would have been wonderful but is rented that week and so is Marcia's.
 In case you hear or see any possibility, please let us know.
Bert and Ank
Contact me and I will give you Bert’s email address

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Mind body retreat

My names Cloë I received your details from a lovely friend Irena in Lisle sur Tarn.

She recommended me contact you as I am running a mind body retreat in cassis and have 5 spaces left and maybe you have contacts in your area who may be interested.

I am a mind body performance coach, I work with many professional, Olympic athletes and visionary women around the world. I blend pilates, strength training, athletics and mindfulness to teach efficient effective movement by doing less and getting more out of it.

My retreat includes 12 months online training program including videos and a 4 week online belly Bootcamp. You can see more info - https://powerzenbycloe.com/adventure-in-france/

Jo Schofield looking to rent

Looking for a winter/spring let.  By or before 1st October 2019.  Require a house with heating and garden. Furnished or unfurnished. Can pay upfront or monthly. Countryside or village/town.   In the region of St. Antonin, Caylus, Villefranche, Laguepie, Varen, Parisot, Caussade, Septfonds. Contact Joanne or John Schofield by phone on 05 63 30 74 46 (Verfeil) or email jschofield54@aol.com.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

The work of David and Joyce Clench for sale

David and Joyce Clench, our two good friends we made when we first arrived here 17 years ago.
Both artists all their lives. They died not long ago but at ripe old ages. Their children will exhibit for sale a huge body of their artwork in the old mairie in Varen this coming week end and the one after.
You will delight in their work as we did, and we have a lot of their work already
Friday 15 to 17 h
Sat 9 to 12
This week end and next week end at the Old Mairie in Varen, the village with a buzz.

Walk at Espinas

To our British friends :

You are invited to a "randonnée" with the Espinas Comité des Fêtes, this coming Sunday at 3pm. Starting from the village main square ( the church) with a nice bunch of village volunteers to guide you on PR1 and enjoy a pleasant moment together.
Estimated duration 1h30 to 2hours. Mainly wood paths and quiet road.

Laura will be the leader.
Please pass on the message.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Emmanuel Cros, head of the pompiers at Laguepie retires after 12 years


He will stay on as a pompier but not the chef

Friday, 31 May 2019

Better news

What an up and down week we have had.
I am able to post as things are looking up
Malc started feeling ill and as tests were ongoing to find out the cause he started losing his memory, getting confused and had no balance so often nearly fell. He proudly boasts .. but I did not fall
We have had a few days where he thought his computer was all to pot, but it works out the computer was OK it was Malc who was not.
Today we were at the Drs arranging a brain scan when I remembered I had in my bag a water sample. A medic friend of my daughters thought it sounded as if it could be a severe urinary infection, so advised I took a sample with me.
I produced the plastic tub from my bag. I had tried to find a jam jar but the only empty one was honey, and even though washed I thought there maybe traces of honey which might throw up diabetic readings. Anyway the plastic lid had partly come off and the Dr and I both ended up thoroughly washing our hands, but we had saved enough. Readings showed he had an infection and the Doctor thinks this could be causing the symptoms.
Malc is now on a non specific antibiotic until the results pin point what exactly the infection is. The brain scan is on hold.
Still having some funny conversations but things are looking up and we are both feeling more cheerful
Thanks to Laetitia for all her help and support and to all who have sent supportive messages.

Malc checking the list of do ‘s and don’ts on the antibiotics

Post from Andrea White of St. Antonin

 .... small prettyitems from bygone eras - some French and some English that I have collected for years. They would make  delightful gifts or additions to collections for people who are magpies like me.  It is a treasure trove ! I have some glassware,  pretty china - but mainly unusual old items, brass and copper, pictures...all sorts of things..   not 'vide grenier' prices  but  not 'brocante' prices either...very affordable!
       I am not allowed to hold more than 2  x ' Vide  Maison' per year and as  I am putting the house on the market   I  have to sell my collection as soon as possible. 
      I will be pleased to open  my  door  who  those might wish to visit and browse  privately  as  I don't want to contravene the Mairie's rules. The address is 25 rue Droite, St Antonin Noble Val - and if you telephone me on 06 84 15 52 11   I can arrange to be there. or, as  I am working on the house, I will be there during the day and  on Sundays from 10-4pm
       -  just telephone me if you would like to visit....06 84 15 52 11.  Andrea White

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

TAG is one man down for a short while

Just at the moment Malc is back to having health problems. It will get sorted, we have great faith in the medical care here but it may mean TAG reporting is even less than usual.
As many of you realise I am now really tied up with the friperie in Varen, and with Malc not being well, even that will take second place for a week or two.
 The good news is we are forecast sunny weather for the coming week end, the flowers in the fields and hedges are wonderful at the moment and Remain parties overall won the European elections. John Berkow is staying on as leader of the house and even Tory MPs are saying that the likes of Boris Johnson will be stopped by Parliament if they try for a no deal Brexit.

Book swap in St. Antonin

There will be a book swap on Monday 3rd June

David and I will not be there and so I am not organising lunch but this will be available on an ad hoc basis.


Monday, 27 May 2019

Plus a useful business trailer

We also have a trailer for sale.

 Closed loading space and in good condition. Drawbar brake, polyester roof, aluminum drawbar case, new trailer max tires, load capacity 1000 kg.

Right side with shutters, useful as a market stall, internal size H 130 cm x L 246 cm x W 127 cm
We ask €1250,- (price is negotiable)
For more information:

Najac Area

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Stihl chain saw for sale

Can you post our tronconneuse/chainsaw on facebook and/or taglines?

It is a nice small one, in good shape, runs smoothly.

We sell it because I would rather have an electric one. (So I don’t have to ask Peter everytime to start it...;-) )

We'd like to sell it for about €225
contact : Anja Eijzenga     anja@vurigstoken.nl

A nasty surprise at the ballot box

We duly turned up at the village school to cast our votes in the EU election, to be greeted by our amiable maire, saying "Ah no, you are not eligible to vote". We protested of course, pointing out having received our new voting cards within the last few days. M le maire said he had not signed them, but sight of his signature put paid to that. "It's only valid for municipal elections", which we disputed. He responded by bringing the list of European residents entitled to vote and pointed out our names were not present.
By virtue of further protests he then said, "Oh, I've turned over the page and there you are!" He then gave our cards to the presiding officer and invited us to vote. As I passed along the line of "bulletins" he pointed out which was his party (actually he confirmed my comment if it was his party by saying "c'est moi"). I picked one up, mentally spat upon it, and in the booth tore it into pieces. I was sorely torn between  the Animal Party and the Esperanto party which both seem very pro Europe. But eventually voted for a mainstream party group.
So not only in the UK was there some evidence of gerrymandering.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Euro elections tomorrow

It may be your last chance to vote in French elections, as "foreigners" are not allowed a vote (for readers with French citizenship nothing changes). Our current rights stem from the UKs status as a member of the EU. With no deal those rights will no longer exist. So please, whoever, make a deal!

But who to vote for? If you believe in omens a strange episode arose yesterday. The various manifestos arrived in the post on Friday morning and after perusing as many as there were (fewer than the 34 lists which have declared), I put them back on the coffee table. A sudden gust of wind scattered them about the room and even onto the stairs. As I picked them up I noticed a strange phenomenon; the sequence in which I picked them up corresponded closely to a possible result. Most of the leaflets had remained on the table, so I considered that as the base.`
As I gathered up away from the base the first I lifted was "La France Insoumise" a leftish party under Jean-Luc Melenchon' ;then a centre right grouped under Les Republican, Sarkozy's old party; then Les Europeens, a centre party dedicated to building up the EU's strength ahead of the might of America and China; the "Envie de Europe" a leftish party based on groups from the old PS puts forward many of the same points (adding Russia to the enemies). Then the green party, or EELV wanting to make climate change and green issues paramount.
The last two were overlapping on the staircase. Take this how you will: furthest away, therefore in pole position En Marche, the party of Macron then almost covering it the Rassemblement National - formerly FN. As with most of the lists it is not headed by party leader, Marine le Pen.
Sadly the Esperanto party remained resolutely on the table with many other parties more or less well known

Finally another phenomenon occurred as a second gust swept through, gathered them all up, tore them in two and dumped them in the poubelle.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Arranged by Citrus at Laguepie

Sharing poetry

Tuesday 28th at le Caphaneum, 18h -19h, in St Antonin the promoters of evenings of poetry will present readings and discussions around the work of Charles Baudelaire. One of France's most enigmatic poets of the 19th century, Baudelaire's most famous (or notorious) work "Les Fleurs du Mal" will be the focus of the session. Those of us who struggled to understand these poems at A level could well benefit from a French interpretation. There will be an apero offered after the presentation with a chance to discuss the works with the speakers and from 19h30 a meal for those who wish to take partoptional) at le Caphaneum. For details ring 0563 31 65 54

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Coming soon

John Dawson
Our neighbour has asked me to let everyone know that her friend Gilles Boivin will shortly be moving to the St-Antonin area from the Aveyron and is a gardener/handyman and looking for work. As well as garden maintenance he is currently looking after pools, does tree work, is an experienced plasterer and does all types of property mainenance and renovation. Here are his details (only speaks French):

Gilles Boivin
06 22 83 60 07...


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

A Georgian Evening in Villeneuve

La Pastorale des Migrants et le Collectif Migrants vous invitent à venir découvrir l'histoire et la culture Géorgienne à travers des danses,

 de la musique et des chants.

Suivis d'un buffet géorgien!

Samedi 1 Juin à 19h

à la Salle Paroissiale de Villefranche de Rouergue

 (à côté du collège Francis Carcot)

Entrée :10€ (gratuite pour les moins de 12 ans)  

Fonds reversés à l'association Jamais Sans Toit 

Or, if you prefer, Melodie Guepienne

The Laguepie choir will be participating in a concert for spring in the nearby commune of Laparrouquial, in the church of Notre Dame de l'Assomption on Saturday 25th May, from 20h. Entry free, though a donation may be made.
The first half of the concert includes an instrumental Franco-Anglais group called Coffee Vand. Their works include Lully, Delibes and Beethoven, and will be followed by the ensemble "Mandolines et Guitars du Tarn", with 18th and 19th century pieces.
After the interval the Melodie Guepienne will perform Joaquin des Pres, Scarlatti and Faure, plus other unaccompanied pieces.
A "pot d'amitie" and cakes will be offered and early arrivals are offered a musical treat.

Montauban choir in Caylus

The choir of Montauban Cathedral regularly gives concerts in churches around the department and this weekend they will be present in the church of St John the Baptist, Caylus on Saturday 25th May at 20h45.
The choir under its founder Henri Dasse will perform excerpts from Mozart's magnificent mass, as well as works by Palestrina, Victoria, Viadana, Buxtehude and Mendelssohn. Accompanied on the organ by Sylvie Perez, professor at the Montauban Conservatoire. Admission 10 euros.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Todays powerful image

A vote for Brexit is a vote for Fascism

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Going Dutch

The artists exhibiting in the old Mairie in Varen for the next two weekends are talented Dutch ladies Elly Wright and Resi van Eeten. Both have houses in the area and have exhibited widely here and abroad.
Each Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Croix Rouge grow their own

Growing for solidarity
A garden of 2000 m2 on the banks of the Tarn at Moissac has been cultivated by members of the Croix Rouge for over 50 years. As with most successful market gardens it is careful planning and respect for the seasons that the garden produces many tons of fresh produce which makes its way to the organisation's distribution centre - just 2 kms away.
But as with so many benevolent organisations the current leader is feeling his age and wonders who will take up the baton. A similar story in the UK this week suggested that few young people were willing to take up jobs in horticultural nurseries which is leading to closures and a possible shortage of plants.
At a time when we are concerned about food "air miles" it seems odd that home produced food and flowers should be being shunned. The Moissac area has many fruit growers and surely their will be somebody to help out in the garden (perhaps amongst the users of the food bank?).

Saturday, 18 May 2019

A literary conversation

Two weeks tonight, I will be sharing the stage with my friend, Vanessa Couchman. It promises to be an informal evening of talk, readings, discussion about using South West France as inspiration for our novels.
All the information you need is on the flyer below.
Afterwards, a group of us are heading off to La Gabelle in Villefranche to share a meal and, of course, a glass or two of wine.
The event is open to all, no need to book, but if you fancy the “after-show party’ please let me know.
Hope you can join us,

Catherine xxx

Friday, 17 May 2019

Submitting your French tax return

The date for submitting your return on paper has passed, yesterday was the limit. It is mandatory for most people to submit a return via the internet, only certain households and older taxpayers are exempt from that.
The "fisc" has made some terminals available in their offices and  help may be available in certain local advice centres.
On-line submissions vary according to your place of residence: depts. 1-19 May 21st; depts. 20-49 May 28th; depts. 50-974 June 4th.
Readers in Aveyron need to get their skates on to meet May 21st, those of us in Tarn and T&G have until 4th June; Lot and L&G are reminded that May 28th is their deadline.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

There may be cherries on sale

Growers in Tarn and Garonne are expecting a bumper crop of cherries this year and the first harvest has begun this week. Apparently they traditionally supply the French Open tennis at Roland Garros in a week or two. In addition to being copious, the cherries are said to be sweeter than last year.
Those readers with "cerisiers" in their gardens may have noticed that their fruits are progressing well, but maturing according to the variety, some being later than others.

Naomi has fresh pork next week

Hello all, preparing pork next week 21st May from my herd of Gloucester Old Spot and Berkshire breeds.

Will have 5 kilo pork hampers for 65 euros and 10 kilo hampers for 115 euros available.
Will also have my pork available to buy in smaller quantities as usual, all  cuts available, for any preferred cuts please get in touch . 
My Pork is 100% Free Range, all pigs born and raised here on my farm in Caylus.
Please get in touch if you need to discuss further, all my pork products are vac packed and can be frozen.
0563652578 or 0613577733 or fermebasqui@gmail.com

Naomi Westbury   

Cat sitter needed for a week.

Hi Val,

I just posted on the tagonline FB page about this, so you'll probably see it there but wanted to check with you too. Do you know of a good pet sitter or place to board cats for about a week? I have an aunt and cousin who are both highly allergic, so I need to get our cute little cats out of here while they are here. 

Let me know if you know of a place or person you'd recommend.

Val says Annie is at Najac.          jouestiste@gmail.com

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Design an evening in Caylus

Students of design based in Caylus will be exhibiting their creations tomorrow (Thursday) in the streets of the town, including projections once the sun has set. Based on the theme of "Waves" the creations will show all kinds of designs, sound, light, visual developed by the students from the town. The Tourist office has organised a free organised visit to the sights of Caylus, from 16h30, followed by an apero. Afterwards participants can enjoy the exposition (and a crepe from Cecile).

A night at the Beaulieu museum

The annual "Nuit a la musee", a Europe wide opening of museums for evening or night visits will be celebrated at the Abbaye de Beaulieu for the second time.
The beautiful but austere Cistercian abbey set in the Seye valley between Verfeil and Parisot will display the monumental and colourful works of Liz West, the sixty years of creation of Muriel Sinclair and music and dance with various artists from the region, organised by Genevieve Foccroulle the pianist from St Michel de Vax.
The events will start at 20h (8pm) and last until midnight on Saturday 18th May.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Euro election campaigns under way

May 13th was the official start of the elections for the European parliament. France has 79 seats available and 34 lists are to contest the vote. Each main party has presented a list of 79 candidates, divided equally between men and women. The major political parties have all chosen a "tete de liste" who is not the party leader, but who due to the electoral system is likely to win a seat.
But what about the people who are number 79 on the list? These candidates would only get a seat if that list received 100% of the vote - something we might have seen under Stalin, but not here today.
Many will see any place on a list as a first step up the party hierarchy so welcome their inclusion, but recognise that only a miracle (or disaster) will see them elected this time.
Currently polls show the RN (former FN) (24%) marginally ahead of LREM (Macron's party) (21%) with various smaller parties sharing the vote - including the once powerful Parti Socialiste (6%) and Les Republicans (Sarkozy's party) (14%). La France Insoumise (LFI) led by J-L Melenchon is credited with 9%, the leading left wing party and the green party 7%. There are several so-called gilet jaune lists though none appear to have in excess of 1% support.
The election here in France will be on Sunday 26th May.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Now open Wednesday afternoon

Varen friperie
Ouverture maintenant
Mercredi 15 h a 17 h
Vendredi 15 h a 17 h
Samedi 9 a midi

These ideas recycle

An association founded in 2006 calling itself "Iddées" - sounds like good Ideas - now has 11 permanent employees and 76 on training courses for insertion into the local workforce. Based in Caussade, with branches at Lafrancaise and Lauzerte, the association recycles many items collected from dechetteries or uses such items to train students to repair or understand how things work, especially the electrical and electronic things we throw away.
The association also has workshops for wood, sewing, computers, petrol engines and bicycles. As well as looking after green spaces around the towns.
Mains Tendues82 passes on to Iddees some of its items collected which require repair or are more suitable to be used by them. So almost no item is useless - so much can be recycled.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Birthday wishes

Bon anniversaire Jill
Jill and John celebrating at the Moulin at lunchtime
Jill has created with her team an exceptional paradise on the first floor at Mains Tendues 82, in Varen.
If you want a new dress, new shirt, wonderful jewellery this department is THE place to come.
I have never seen anything so marvellous in Tarn and Garonne... it is a delightful place to buy and the price is UNBELIEVABLE. The interior of the building is shabby chic but the clothes are just chic.
Thanks Jill, hope you enjoyed your meal and I enjoyed passing by and getting the restaurant singing  Bon anniversaire.💕
Opening times in Varen frip now to include 
Wednesday afternoon
15 h to 17 h
Friday 15 h to 17 h
Saturday 9 to 12
Furniture, bedding, kitchenware, ornaments, mirrors, pictures, carpets, bathroom equipment, you name it. If it is in impec. condition we recycle it to you and all for our local good causes.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Concert in aid of the school in Varen

34 lists to vote for

The elections for the European Parliament on 26th May will have 33 lists to choose from. This means that local maires need to provide billboards to display the candidates posters, the only form of advertising allowed n the streets.
This poses a problem for small communes with few voters and even fewer "panneaux". One T&G commune has only 38 voters, but will have to display 33** posters. Many maires are complaining that the prefecture is offering no help. Others are looking at sharing the boards and using both sides. But used to seeing only 5 or 6 posters, 33 will undoubtedly will give voters pause for thought.
** a 34th list approved at the last minute.

SNCF simplifies tickets

The SNCF mainline rail services had new reduction cards introduced yesterday (9th May). Called "Avantage" these cards replace the multitude of offers previously available and at a fixed cost of 49 euros. Use of the card allows a reduction of 30% on rail tickets (more for children accompanied by a card holder).
The card does not apply to regional TER trains such as run on our local lines. Also certain other low cost trains are excluded, as is Eurostar.
Some tickets which used not be exchangeable or refundable will be from now, though it seems all tickets cancelled or exchanged will be subject to a minimum charge of 5 euros.
Readers who travel regularly on the long distance TGV or Intercity trains no doubt will be au fait with the possibilities, but the new Avantage card may well be a good investment.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

New art gallery in Parisot

The gallery Jean-de-la-Valette opened its doors last weekend with an exhibition of works on a theme of animals under threat. Paintings and sculptures of various animals are displayed over two floors and the intention is to create an artist's residence on the third floor.
The building, in the rue de la Mairie, Parisot (82), has been loaned by a generous owner and completely restored by the members of the association Art et Patrimoine.
The exhibition will be on display until June 2nd, Tuesday - Saturday 10h-12h and 15h-19h, and on Sunday 15h-19h.
Details from 0684 05 09 10

Caylus camp portes ouvertes

The military training camp at Caylus will be opening its doors to the public next weekend, 18th and 19th May. Stands with games for children will be there as will demonstrations of military equipment, both old and new. The camp is mainly for training new paratrooper recruits.

No Rugby World Cup in Toulouse?

The 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC) is to be played in France, but possibly with no matches in Toulouse.
The city esteems itself as the home of the 15 man game here, but their biggest matches, either domestic or European, are played at the Stadium normally used by TFC (Toulouse Football Club). The stadium belongs to the municipality so any works needed would fall onto local authorities to fund or carry out.
The main problem is that international rugby matches must have a 5 metre perimeter around the actual playing area, for the safety of the players. The stadium can only offer 4.25 metres and would need some major changes, and loss of seats, to find the extra 25 centimetres.
There was similar concern when the football European Nations Cup was played here some years ago, as the run off from the pitch was too steep.
Unlike most English clubs who own their grounds, French teams play in municipal stadiums and it requires major local investment to build new grounds to international standards. Lille has recently built a new stadium, and Paris and Marseille have grounds big enough. But Toulouse is unlikely to invest the millions of euros needed, so the possibility of no RWC matches in the home of French rugby remains a possibility.

There may be some disruptions today

Several trades unions whose members are employed in public services will be striking today and marching in the streets of most big cities. The unions are concerned that the government aims to reduce public employment by up to 120000 jobs by 2022. Most likely to be affected today will be government offices.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

A summer Festival at Lez

Walks in Tarn and Garonne

There are several walking groups based around St Antonin, Septfonds and Caylus and many readers venture out each week on walks of various degrees of difficulty. Some leaders are experts in the patrimoine of their routes, others just out to enjoy the countryside.
The Tarn and Garonne tourist office has put over 70 routes on their web site, which can be downloaded.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Know your wild flowers

Most local authorities no longer use herbicides or pesticides on open spaces (except cemeteries, sports grounds or some roads). The result is that many areas have been invaded by weeds and wild flowers.
The CPIE ( Centre Permanente d'Initiatives pour l'environnement) proposes a walk to discover and identify the plants. Sunday 12th May, from the lake at Caylus. From 14h.
Free, but by reservation at  CPIE Quercy Garonne 05 63 24 06 26 ou mdp82@wanadoo.fr

"Anti-vaccins" lose court case

Several groups opposed to the ministry of health's requirement that children be obliged to have been vaccinated have lost a case in the highest administrative court, seeking to prevent the increase from 3 to 11 vaccinations.
Many schools will not admit children who have not had the obligatory three inoculations and the recent rise in measles cases has highlighted the lack of protection afforded to many children.
Children born after 1st January 2018 are covered by the requirement, though the various administrations may depend on the age of the child, some being for under age one, some later.

One for your diary

Monday, 6 May 2019

Top museum to close for 20 months

Agustin cloisters
The Musee des Augustins in Toulouse is one of the oldest such institutions in France, opening first in 1795, having been requisitioned after the Revolution. With a major collection of art and artifacts from medieval times to the 1940s. Housed in a beautiful old monastery the museum is in need of some modernisation. The 20 month closure will be used to install better fire protection, video surveillance and a lift to the first floor, as well as general repairs and decoration.
picture:Frederic Charmeux:MaxPPP

Shelter wanted for homeless

Members of a group based in Montauban, Reseau Education Sans Frontieres (RESF) demonstrated at the prefecture yesterday - Sunday - asking the authorities to provide shelter for around 100 families, mainly from Albania and Georgia, who are living in the streets and parks of the main city of Tarn and Garonne. Other associations, such as Emmaus and Pas Sans Toit, have joined in the demands. Until the end of April various unused public buildings were available for use but this has ended. RESF has been paying for hotel rooms but has run out of money. Mains Tendues 82 has made a gift to both RESF and Pas Sans Toit after being alerted to the need, but the associations are asking anyone in the Montauban area who can house a family to get in touch. The prefecture has said it will examine each case on its merits, prioritising children.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Book now for feisty Flo Smith

Full details of the May presentation of FET at Les Cabannes are at this link

Flower fair at Bruniquel today

If you are brave enough to go out in the cold wind today a visit to Bruniquel will reward you with around 40 stands offering plants, flowers and accessories. Within the walls of the chateaux is the superb location for this traditional plant fair and the chateaux are open free for the event.
In addition to the plants and accessories for sale there will be talks and plenty of opportunities to revive the inner self.

Making his own way

Picture J-C Desfarges
To most of our readers around Laguepie the name "Tran" means only one person: Dr Eric Tran. Well known to our anglophone community thanks to his knowledge of our language Dr Tran is the proud father of son Remi. The young man, born in Laguepie, has been studying an arts course in Toulouse where he set up a music group called "Little Motion", which has now released its second album.
Said to be a mixture of British pop, rock and folk, the music can appeal to a wide audience. They are available for gigs around the area and the group can be found on FaceBook, search for Little Motion.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Le Marche Bio

Do you eat Rocquefort?

If so you are likely to be aged 60+, according to the company Societe who are the biggest producers of the famous Aveyron blue cheese made from sheep milk. In fact sales are diminishing year on year (even when there are more and more 60+). The company wants to market a "bleu de brebis", without the appellation of Rocquefort, which has angered some local representatives, notably Jose Bove.
The European deputy for the ecology party is worried that the cheese represents an attack on the oldest appellation on any French food product, the type and origin having been protected since 1925.
Societe on the other hand claim that without the new product the whole future of Rocquefort is in jeopardy.
M Bove says he will pursue his case through the courts if necessary.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Does anything eat processional caterpillars?

Blue tit with tasty caterpillar (original photo)
We are all now familiar with the threat posed by these caterpillars which descend from their fluffy nests in the fir trees and form their lengthy trains across the ground. Dogs and cats which investigate them risk fatal stings and any person unwary enough to disturb them will find that the tiny barbs they expel are extremely irritating.
As with many natural threats a solution which can reduce the threat exists in nature itself: blue, great, longtail and other tits (as well as some bats) will attack the caterpillars with impunity.
Some communes in the Lot department which have a surfeit of fir trees have encouraged residents to install nesting boxes for tits and bats in a effort to minimise the threat.
It may be a bit late now for this year as many of the tits around our house are busy feeding young in holes in the walls and trees but worth thinking about for the future.

Remembering Roger

Roger Bowen: smiles and cars
A short memorial will be held on Saturday 4th May at 5pm (17h) of the life of Roger Bowen. In the parish church of Varen, the proceedings will include a welcome and  benediction by the Curé and some of Roger's favourite music and readings as well as a reminiscence of his life here in France as well as life before France.
The service should last about 30 minutes and will be followed by drinks and nibbles at Michaela Best's house in St Vincent de Varen. 

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Sous couverture a St. Antonin

je regrette l'imprécision, de ma part bien sûr : le 18ème Salon du Livre d'Artiste ouvrira samedi 4 mai à 10h, donc du 4 au 12 mai.

merci de votre compréhension.


photo : Maxppp
Not a signal for help, though with many of the usual workers' processions being allied to GJ demonstrations readers may need help getting through the big cities on this holiday.
Another French tradition on this day is to present a loved person with a sprig of lily of the valley - "muguet". They are supposed to be sold by amateur vendors, though as usual most are now grown and packaged by professionals. But the symbol remains.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

What shall we do with the drunken deer.

When you see that chevreuil at the roadside you are never quite sure what it will do - dash into the road or off into the fields. It seems that at this time of year they eat so many succulent buds which contain fermentable sap that it can turn to alcohol. This has the usual effect and since deer have no concept of consuming "in moderation" they can become disorientated and lose their innate fear of vehicles.
Hitting a deer at night is relatively common, but drunken deer are about in the daytime too and drivers are well advised to keep a sharp eye out for beasts.

Do we put our region first?

The French regions were established in the 1980s as part of a plan of decentralisation, then reduced from 22 to 13 in 2015. Most of our readers live in what is now known as Occitanie, previously Midi Pyrenees.
The regions are responsible for many major aspects of our life: schools, infrastructure, trains, agriculture, health, tourism. The region is also responsible for bidding for and distributing EU funds. The main grouse is of course the central government's delegation of powers without the necessary funding. Nevertheless a recent poll suggests that although voters like being in a region they are not happy with the mergers. In Occitanie the Midi Pyreneans are happier that the Languedoc-Rousillonais, possibly because Toulouse is seen to be favoured over Montpellier.
Yet when people were asked what entity they felt most attached to they replied (in order) France, Europe, region, commune, department. The community of communes did not figure. But noticeable that region headed both commune and department.

Art in St. Antonin

Monday, 29 April 2019

But will MacDonalds do it?

A number of Toulouse takeaway restaurants are participating in a scheme using glass containers for your midday meal. A refundable deposit of 5 euros is added to the bill and the containers are supplied by a start-up company, who also pick them up and wash them.
The idea is that with re-usable containers some of the thousands of plastic and cardboard boxes would no longer need to be collected and recycled. It is estimated that about 10000 such containers generate 3 tonnes of rubbish each day in Toulouse.
The scheme's promoters hope more restaurants will sign up to make a significant impact on the city's rubbish.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Book swap at St. Antonin

The next book swap will be at the Gazpacho on Monday 6th May. There will be lunch afterwards (at 12 noon). if you wish to participate please let me know as soon as possible and no later than Friday 3rd May.
Thank you,

Saturday, 27 April 2019

A young artist on Varen

Varen, Mains Tendues 82
Next week end  3/4 May, we have exhibiting in the old mairie a young French lady who lives in the village called Nina de Gioann
Nina will be exhibiting her art work and her photographs.
I hope you will come and support young talent.
Friday 15 h to 17 h
Saturday 9 to 12

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Sunday is the Flower Fair at Laguépie

Laguépie Flower fair is the unmissable annual signal that it is time to get your garden pots out. Flowers, bushes, trees, vegetables, tomatoes, herbs; plus all kinds of accessories.
It pays to get there early as parking is at a premium and have containers to carry home all your goodies. There will be the possibility of refreshments on site.

Up cycling in Parisot

Thomas Lefort at L'Esquisse
There is a lot of interest these days in taking old pieces of furniture and either restoring them to former glories or transforming them into something new, "up-cycling" as it is called.
A new enterprise called L'Esquisse has opened its doors in the old school in Parisot (82) under the control of Thomas Lefort. Trained as a coppersmith, Thomas creates his own furnishings or re-cycles older pieces into new designer creations.
The boutique is open every Saturday from 10h-12h and 14h-18h.

Deviations on the A62

Hi Val

I am just back from Blagnac airport and thought it might be worth letting anyone off to Toulouse or the airport know that there are roadworks and deviations on the autoroute so do leave extra time. It is both ways single lane traffic heading towards the tolls and the junction to pick up the Bordeaux/Paris auto route is closed. The deviation was not sign posted and myself and many others including huge lorries ended up in a T junction . It took me a hour to get out of Toulouse !


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The vets at Laguepie

With a new building and state of the art equipment the vets at Laguepie are making a name for themselves.
With a new young lady vet on the team , English speaking and Charles Tondreau now speaking English, they are worth knowing about.
Max our little cat had an x ray there to check his leg was not broken after numerous bites from a snake, and after two days hospitalisation on a drip he is home safe

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

No longer a "bobby's job"

We used to have a phrase (at least we northerners) to describe a simple, no stress employment - "a bobby's job". When we were children policemen were the ultimate symbol of authority; if a bobby told you to stop doing something you stopped - at least until he went off.
Changes in attitude in society and a respect by the police themselves for the rights of the public mean that being a guardian of the peace is no longer what it was.
Here in France the "flics" have long been held in an ambivalent point of view. We were advised long ago by a senior gendarme not to engage in arguments with policemen who had more powers than you think. They are not identified by name and only recently by number; they can sue you on a personal basis if you "insult the uniform" and the CRS is famously brutal. But they are there to protect society from crooks, sort out difficult personal conflicts, pick up the pieces after disturbances and riots and in recent years to guard against terrorist attacks.
So far in 2019 some 40 officers have committed suicide, this is more than usual, though agents always have a higher suicide rate than the population as a whole. No studies have been made as to why this is the case but possibly the unsocial hours, the stress of the job and family break up are more prevalent than in other professions.
It is pretty difficult for the police unions and the officers themselves to hear shouts of "go kill yourself" during Saturday's usual GJ demonstrations and to see in Caussade on Sunday a van with a large notice suggesting that those injured in the demonstrations were in some way compensated by police suicides.

Monday, 22 April 2019

New guide book to St Antonin

What rights to walk in the woods?

Many of us like to take a walk in the woods, often with a dog for company. But do we have any right to be there?
Not if the woods are privately owned, when express permission is needed. Of course if there are footpaths or public tracks these may be taken. Landowners are concerned that unauthorised entrants may try to cut wood, collect mushrooms, cause damage or start fires. They state that the same restrictions apply as when walking across cultivated fields.
Presumably chasseurs have such permission and so many woods are not managed by their owners that it seems unnecessary to have such a sweeping statement.

Rana and her art with a visit also from Cancer Support France

The coming week end in Varen, we have the continuing exhibition of Rana J Rodgers in the old mairie.
On the Saturday 10 to 12 we have the very active group Cancer Support France coming to spread the word and offer help or advice and a coffee, tea and home made cake.
We hope you will all come and see Rana’s wonderful art and also come and chat with the group CANCER SUPPORT.

Tour de France to pass by Bruniquel

The 17th July will see the competitors in the 2019 Tour de France take a short detour into Tarn and Garonne. Departing from Albi cathedral the cyclists will head towards Bruniquel, before turning from the D115 Aveyron valley road past the foot of the village with its marvellous chateaux. Then following the Vere towards Gaillac the riders will only cover 7 kilometres of T&G roads, but will offer tremendous views to the telespectators of this beautiful area. The stage ends in Toulouse.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Fair trade chocolate for Easter

France is the sixth biggest consumer of chocolate in the world and in recent years there is a tendency to buy "equitable" chocolate. This is from cocoa beans bought from small suppliers, or their co-operatives in countries such as Ivory Coast or Ghana. Often they may also be organic producers, offering consumers the choice of supporting small growers with the added low pollution benefit.
That said equitable chocolate still only represents a tiny proportion of the total, though Lidl claim that 100% of their chocolate products are sourced in this way.
The production of chocolate products is said to employ some 30000 people in France, and there are 7 million growers worldwide.
So if you are tucking into your equitable Easter egg, have a delicious day.

Friday, 19 April 2019

It is Good Friday

But it is not a public holiday here in France. Most shops and offices will be open as normal. But Monday 22nd April (Easter Monday) is a holiday and consequently many shops and certainly offices will be closed.
As usual it will be prudent to plan your weekend when a bank holiday is in prospect.

1.3 million euros for hunters

The regional council leader Carole Delga met representatives of the "chasse" and fishing groups and agreed to grant 1.3 million euros to help with their conservation activities. About half goes on fishing clubs to help with river and lake conservation and stocking. For the hunters they regret that none of the cash will go towards their training, safety and compensation to agriculteurs whose crops are damaged by wild animals. Ironically they say some will aid their programme to "reintroduce" local animals - presumably excluding bears and wolves.
We imagine establishing populations of pheasant, pigeon and partridge may figure on their list - or is that just cynicism?

Thursday, 18 April 2019

FET in May

“Feisty, funny and frank…" Stratford-upon-Avon Herald 

For our second show of the year, we are delighted to welcome FLO SMITH - NOW AND THEN on Saturday 18th May at 8pm.

It's 1969 and a woman looks back on her life lived in London, from the Boer War to the Summer of Love... Flo Smith, daughter, sister, wife, mother, widow and grandmother recalls with horror, humour, tears and joy those turbulent times at home, and in the world beyond her front door.

Written by actor Christopher Saul, the play is based on recordings he made as a young drama student of his own grandmother, Florence Smith. Her loveable and forthright character is brought brilliantly to life by Ursula Mohan, whose many credits include playing a female King Lear (at the Tristan Bates Theatre in 2016) and Joyce the cockney clippie, in many episodes of On the Buses (in the late 60s and early 70s).

★★★★ A working class London girl who has endured poverty, injustice, a troubled upbringing, love and loss, her reminisces intermingle with world events... it is this intimate biographical detail framed against the background politics that give her gossipy ramblings a historical importance and unique insightfulness." Gill Sutherland, Stratford Herald 

The bar will open at 7pm and the performance will start at 8pm.

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