Thursday, 28 February 2019
Participants report first sightings (or bird calls) of 10 indicators. These include the first swallows, cuckoo, cowslips, hazel catkins, ladybirds (the 7 point variety), oak buds, vine shoots, yellow butterfly, pyramid orchids and green frogs.
Not all of these appear early in the spring, but it is useful to mark the progress of the season as it seems to be getting earlier each year.
|Cowslips: primavere coucou|
This link is to the very interesting report on the activities of the Sentinels in 2018.
Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Many of the refugees remained in the area despite the difficulties they faced with the French authorities under the Vichy regime.
The uncertainty caused by the Brexit debate over the last three years has caused the pound to plunge from around 1.35 to as low as 1.09 (typical bank or currency broker rates, not headline or tourist rates). A big factor in driving retired people back to the UK as their incomes have plunged, though selling your house is more affordable - if you can find a buyer.
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Friday evening saw the latest manifestation of young people, mainly students, in various cities to protest at governments' lack of action to combat climate change. The movement has been inspired by a Swedish woman Greta Thunberg who has been picketing the Swedish parliament every Friday. Around one thousand young people attended the rally in Paris. Organisers claim their actions have been over-shadowed by other "social protests", but that global warming is the most important issue facing their generation.
Friday, 22 February 2019
Thursday, 21 February 2019
The text is:
Conservative MP, Alberto Costa is putting down a carefully worded amendment
to guarantee citizens rights regardless of the outcome of Brexit. The
amendment will be to the Prime Minister's meaningful vote motion on February
This is the amendment:
'This House considers the prime minister's statement of 26th February and
requires the prime Minister to seek at the earliest opportunity a joint
UK-EU commitment to adopt part two of the withdrawal agreement on citizens
rights and ensure its implementation prior to the UK¹s exiting the European
Union, whatever the outcome of negotiations on other aspects of the
It is reported to have cross party support, but it is vital that all MPs are
encouraged to get behind it. So please write to your MP and ask him or her
to vote for Mr Costa's amendment your future life in the EU could depend
Find your MP here:
Our coalition of groups, British in Europe has joined with the3million in
the UK writing to all MPs., but this is all about numbers, so please email
your MP now.
You can download the BiE letter here:
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
|Assembled against antisemitism: pic Fabrice Valery, France 3|
Wherever the cause of this lies, and many wild theories have been advanced from the Gilets Jaunes to deliberate government misinformation, it is a symptom of the ever more toxic politics being driven by the "populist" right and ultra left wing groups.
The manifestants in Toulouse and many other cities show that right-minded citizens will not tolerate these abusive scapegoating actions, whether against Jews, gays or migrants.
|Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard in October 2018. Photo Bertrand Guay, AFP|
He had said he wanted to leave his fortune to his beloved Burmese cat, Choupette. This is apparently not possible under French law as pets are treated as chattels and are part of the deceased's estate, inherited along with everything else as decreed by the "code Napoleon". But we imagine that a specific bequest could be made to a person or association charged with keeping the cat in luxury as long as it lived.
|Sketch of Choupette by his owner|
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
C'est avec plaisir que l'équipe de France Alzheimer 82 vous invite à l'après-midi récréative "Crêpes-partie" proposée le mardi 5 mars de 15h à 17h au Fort à Montauban.
Vous trouverez en pièce jointe l’affichette d’invitation à ce moment.
Le nombre de places étant limité, l'inscription préalable est nécessaire (par mail ou téléphone) auprès de notre secrétariat.
A très bientôt !
Sunday, 17 February 2019
Saturday, 16 February 2019
It seems the policemen were not amused and eventually the couple received a fine of 22 euros for "abusive use" of a car horn.
The couple are outraged as they did not support the actions of the GJs and their gesture to the police was accompanied by a cheery wave. They intend to pay the fine in 1 centime coins.
The moral: be careful who you hoot at.
Friday, 15 February 2019
Also it is worth considering the trains to Toulouse from Laguepie, Lexos or Vindrac.
Thursday, 14 February 2019
There is still the possibility of the navette to the station and the tramway to other parts of the city.
|A380 takes off in Sydney: photo Peter Parks AFP|
Airbus do not envisage much impact on employment at the various sites that construct the A380 as they can be diverted to the much in demand A320 and A350.
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
|The artist Christian Guemy removed the graffiti from his image|
France 2 TV last night aired a documentary showing the battle in France in the 1930s for dominance by fascist sympathisers and left wing republicans. The importance of defeating this growing menace was graphically illustrated but ultimately led to the horrors of the war.
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
|Millau viaduct: pic. Vincent, public domain|
Current toll is 8.60 euros (rising to 10.80 in summer) for light vehicles.
The bridge was designed in partnership with British architect Norman Foster and is the tallest bridge in the world at 343 metres. Its original conception was to eradicate the tremendous traffic jams experienced especially in the summer when the holiday makers from the north headed for the riviera and Mediterranean resorts.
Monday, 11 February 2019
Saturday, 9 February 2019
Friday, 8 February 2019
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Given away free around the area it was supported by local advertising and a few generous donations.
The editorial concentrated on local events and personalities, but with the emphasis firmly on our hosts the French population (and indeed many of them were pleased to read something in English of interest to the area).
The publisher, Val Johnstone of Varen, would like to re-establish TAGlines, but via the electronic media and first steps are to establish an on-line blog version. So if you have news, views, items for sale, events to publicise etc why not let TAG on-line know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yet it seems that France is one of the European countries least served by this effort to reduce road deaths from speeding vehicles. Using a measure of cameras per square kilometre, Belgium tops the league, with 18 times the number per square kilometre than in France. But Italy has actually the highest number, with over 10000 speed cameras, compared to just over 2000 in France. In fact France is 11th in density (though Malta with just 21 cameras has a much higher density). GB and the Netherlands also have much higher density than France and the least likely place to be flashed seems to be Spain.
So if cash is the purpose of this equipment then perhaps the government is missing a trick.
Statistics gathered by an organisation called Statista.
Thursday, 7 February 2019
Education is under the control of the Ministry of Education, managed at local level by "Academies", who decide things such as curriculum, staffing and holiday dates. Here we are under the Academie de Toulouse. But there are Departmental organisms which are charged with carrying out the policies from above.
It is the sole responsibility of the Departmental delegation to decide which schools should close or lose classes. The commune has little or no input. The direction is supposed to consult the schools themselves and the commune maire.
The Department seems to consider that the classes are too small in the primary schools (overall average in Caussade for example is 23 pupils per class). Therefore it wants to combine classes to increase the level to about 27 minimum.
The fear at village level is that their schools will never reach a level considered viable by the Academie, leading to closure and merging with other nearby schools, with all the logistical impact that will have on pupils and parents. The manifestations at local schools will continue and delegations are expected to go to Montauban to try and meet the Director.
Wednesday, 6 February 2019
This link is to an article on the subject http://www.midi-quercy.fr/spip.php?article2441
If you click the "en savoir plus" link you can get an English version.
Arrangements are in place to divert calls to our mobile phone, so you should be able to get through. Our usual email and messenger addresses are still working.
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
Monday, 4 February 2019
Services affected will include the CPAM and CAF, dealing with health and family allowance payments, schools closed include those at Caussade, Caylus, Parisot as well as Montauban and other T&G communes.
There may also be problems on certain trains, so check with the SNCF/TER web site if you intend to travel by rail.
There will be a march in Montauban at around 11am.
Many readers have experienced treatment here in France or elsewhere and may have different experiences. Taglines' sub-editor was diagnosed almost exactly 12 months ago with a form of lymphoma and experienced the communication with oncologists and nursing staff at Albi hospital.
We had a rendezvous with a specialist after a battery of tests and she passed us over to the oncologist after discovery of the condition. It was explained to us what was happening and that a programme of treatment would be agreed with various specialists, including the oversight of the Toulouse Oncopole experts.
A few days later we were given details of the programme and dates scheduled for chemotherapy. The documents in the dossier included the inevitable questionnaire as to whether the protocol on communication had ben followed. At the first treatment I was visited by a dietician and psychologist and throughout found the nurses extremely friendly and attentive. The lead oncologist was very "serious" as the French would say; business-like and brisk rather than empathetic, but always willing to listen and answer questions.
There is in our area an organisation called Cancer Support France (there is a contact number in the sidebar to this page) who hold monthly coffee mornings at the Gazpacho in St Antonin. CSF's aim to provide help, advice and support to those facing treatment or their families. One of the most useful aspects is help to deal with French individuals and organisations in the language.
Do not expect hospital staff to speak English. I found that the fact that I can speak reasonable French helped the medical staff and interested them in communicating with them. But use CSF if you need any help.
Sunday, 3 February 2019
Mains Tendues will be selling lots of old postcards of Varen over the years from 1918 up to 2018
Saturday, 2 February 2019
The report on France Info gives the example of 20 centimes increase on the Toulouse/Cahors journey, presumably on the two autoroutes combined.
Frequent users with a telepass contract may see their bills reduced by up to 30%.