Sunday, 31 March 2019

Toulouse Carnival today

The annual Carnaval parade in Toulouse is usually held on a Saturday. But as that day is now habitually taken up with other less celebratory manifestations, the parade has been moved to a Sunday for the first time. But it also looks like being the first sunny carnival since 2013, last year being particularly windy.
Organisers have been preparing their floats for months and are hoping for around 50000 spectators.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Put your clocks forward tonight

Clocks (if you still have any these electronic days) need to be advanced by one hour during this Saturday/Sunday night.
The daylight saving time may become permanent in 2021 (or not). To be decided.

Spring concert at Puycelsi

Fauré Requiem and Schubert's Stabat Mater will be the Spring Concert in Puycelsi Church on Sunday 14th April at 18h (6pm). Tickets are selling fast so please contact Ross or Ginny Jenkins or email Tickets are priced 15.00€ for those over 18, 10€ for those over 10 and students and free for those under 10. 

Friday, 29 March 2019

Jacket fur sale

Sally Clegg invites you to buy a fun fake fur. Contact
FABULOUS FAKE FUR Jacket. 45 euros.

FUN to wear!   Size 44 Hip length (68cm long) Edge to edge. Single button. Fully lined. Pockets  Looks great on  all occasions-  with jeans, black jeggings, slinky evening wear or while reading in bed! Imitation Snow Leopard. Made in France.

Road deaths up 17% in February

On France's roads last month 253 people died  in traffic accidents. A number of factors have been called into account: weather; increase in cycling; destruction of speed cameras; ignoring the 80kph limit etc.
Deaths were also up 3.7% in January and some commentators have suggested a general laxity in observing what are elsewhere considered as reasonable security measures. Many speed cameras were covered up, preventing them from taking pictures, but still recording speeds, giving a 268% increase in infractions.
The very fine weather in February may have led to increase in traffic, especially motorbikes and cyclists (of whom 18 met their death).
A final suggestion regarding motorists' disregard of road safety is the need to redeploy traffic police to controlling demonstrations rather than controlling traffic.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Breath tests for boulistes

The French Federation of Petanque has had a "no drinking" rule for some years, but it is rarely enforced. The regulation applies to official competitions, but the need for a medically qualified person to carry out the random tests has meant little or no enforcement.
Now some departmental federations have agreed to train certain members to interpret breath tests using approved breathalysers. Players with more than 0.5 mg of alcohol indicated will be given 15 minutes to recover, then if still over the limit will be excluded.
The sport is almost indivisible from the consumption of pastis and beer. Many bars which support boule clubs would suffer badly if the rule was introduced at "amical" competitions, but the Haute Garonne federation is worried at the increase in alcohol fuelled violence at some competitions and wants to crack down. The FFP wants to present a cleaner image in the hope of getting petanque into the 2022 Olympics, to be held in Paris.

Are your kiwis French?

French markets and supermarkets sell some 80000 tonnes of kiwi fruit, of which about 30000 are imported, particularly in winter when southern hemisphere fruit is in season. But in European season French grown kiwi are generally more expensive than those imported. This led several wholesalers to take part in a fraud, selling cheaper Italian fruit as French. Food inspectors discovered that some fruit showed traces of pesticides used in Italy, but banned in France.
One firm under investigation is based in Tarn and Garonne and two in Lot and Garonne. Two Italian exporters have been prosecuted for issuing false certificates of origin.
Local producers explain that the lack of use of fungicides means they lose more fruit in cold storage than their competitors, increasing costs, but ensuring a less contaminated product.

Cheques energie

The government scheme to help poorer families with a heating allowance will start to send out cheques from this week. Households with a net taxable income up to 11000 euros will receive a cheque up to 277 euros. The actual amount depends on the number of people in the household and the fiscal "revenu de reference", which you can see on your "avis" from the tax office.
The poorest single householders (ie one person with revenu of under 5600 euros will receive 194 euros, two persons 277 euros).
The cheques will be sent automatically by post and people are warned that there may be scammers trying to "help" with claims or advice on how to spend it. The cheques should be used to pay fuel bills or buy insulation materials.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Cancer Support Vide Armoire

The Vide Armoire/Dress Sale is being held from 10.00 - 17.00 hrs. on Saturday 13 April.

The route to Bonbousquet Yoga Studios, Les Cabannes, 81170 is:-  
Coming from the direction of Cordes sur Ciel, travel through the centre of Les Cabannes and take the first left after the Social Centre and Post Office.  Then take the first right and follow this road directly until the end, about 1 km past the quarry.
There will be balloons signalling the way.
Cake and juice will be available throughout the day.

All proceeds will be going to CSF and any items remaining after the sale has ended will be donated to  Mains Tendues 82 in Varen, a Friperie that supports refugees, people in need and humanitarian associations  in the area.

Reminder for the March for the Planet

Good news, the forecast is great for Sunday.

Do come and join us to share and unite in our desire to stop destroying the planet, to stop abuse of people and animals

The walk will start at 3pm the other side of the bridge in Saint Antonin

We'll first express all that is bad , followed by short speeches outside the Mairie followed by the walk back to the salle de fete where we will express hope of a future where we can all live in harmony.

In the salle de fete we will have lots of stands where we can all share  projects, actions and be inspired  by others.

The stands will cover biodiversity, ecological building, our rivers, the young people movement, humaniarian actions, animal cruelty and how to avoid it, pesticides and how to avoid them, permaculture, shared gardens, mindfulness, etc!

Home made cakes, pancakes, tea and coffee will be there to welcome you. We'll also have a bar and at 6.30 pm a vegi meal all at a  reasonable prices.

At 8.30 pm,  the cinema has programmed a film as a follow up to our action called L'Illusion Verte.

Everyone welcome!

Book swap Monday Ist April

I am organising lunch after the book swap at the Gazpacho on Monday 1st April. If you wish to be included, please notify me as soon as possible, and no later than Friday morning 29th March.

Thank you,


Monday, 25 March 2019

Book swap in Varen tomorrow

Book swap in Varen tomorrow, Axels bar, 10. 30 to 12 but there are people staying on for lunch.
See you tomorrow
Ann Penning is the organiser and she has booked lunches, contact her if you want booking in

Make your own cleaning materials

Rendez-vous pour un moment pratique et convivial de fabrication de produits ménagers naturels
Learn the basics of spring cleaning using natural products.

Samedi 30 mars 2019 à 14h30 à Caylus : Atelier Créateurs au Naturel 
You can make your own effective cleaning materials at a fraction of the cost of commercial products, using simple natural ingredients.
Le CPIE Quercy-Garonne offers this workshop where you can make and take your own products. Exchange tips and ideas to enable your household to be kept like "grandma", and helping to save the environment at the same time.
Places limitées sur inscription, réservations auprès du CPIE Quercy-Garonne 05 63 24 06 26 ou par mail :

Second hand stores in Toulouse (and here)

Selling your unwanted household items or clothes is becoming more popular in Toulouse. A permanent "vide grenier" has been opened in a large hangar where owners mark their items with a price and the managers sell them for a commission (isn't this what the so-called Trocs have been doing for years?). In addition a monthly "vide dressing" is held in the St Georges gallery.
These events are becoming very popular, partly because quality things are sold at very good prices and partly because more people believe that recycling is good for the planet.
In our area the "friperies solidaire" at Parisot, Varen and Les Cabannes can all attest that there is a need and a willingness to use these "thrift shops" more and more to combat out throwaway society and there are very popular "vide dressings" (second hand clothes sale).

One more chance to join the 5 million

Saturday, 23 March 2019

My morning in Varen

This morning in Varen was a bit different, as many of the usual Mains Tendues players were either on the  march in London or on holiday.
I got myself to the market at 7. 45 am to set up the friperie.
It was a cold bright morning, I arrived with all the cheery hellos from fellow stall holders.
We do not have electricity in our building so we run a cable from the house of a Dutch neighbour who kindly lets us plug in.
It is always a bit of a palaver. Today a couple of French stallholders rushed to help me, even though they  themselves were setting up.
The owner of our building who has a large smart hotel in the Place Capitole in Toulouse heard we were short staffed and had the morning off to come and be my assistant.
The Maire passed by  as I was setting up and thanked me for what our group are doing.
All the villagers came and bought, well everything you could imagine and some you could not.
The sun shone and articles came in and out, our great team who were there beavered away in the old mairie selling clothes whilst others were upstairs cleaning newly fitted shelves.
Dutch, English, Canadians, French, Americans and probably even more different nationalities worked together with smiles and laughter. The market buzzed.
Malc did our market shop and came as he does to check I am not getting myself in to more trouble than usual.
We both agreed the atmosphere was great, so much so we have a new French recruit who wants to work with us next week.
I cannot believe I am so lucky to have such a great team of people I can rely on and others in the market who will rush to help and all in multi languages but with over riding SMILES.
We did miss you Sarah, Terence, Liz and Susan, but hey with all the help I got I could cope.... and we took over 800 euros in  5 hours.
How many can we help with that?

FET 4 theatre

 The new season at FET at the Theatre Le Colombier, les Cabannes, opened last night (22nd March with four talented actors presenting extracts from works by some of Britain’s leading late 20th century dramatists, called “4 Love”
The whole evening was planned and directed by Delena Kidd who interspersed the dramatic scenes with a commentary both witty, informative and containing illuminating personal anecdotes. Ably assisted by Nick Waring, Claire Carrie and our own Donald Douglas the six pieces chosen exhibited a range of performances and emotions.
We know what to expect from Michael Frayn and Alan Ayckbourn : words, wit and farce. John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” is part of much of our generation’s cultural heritage and Noel Coward is just himself – elegant wit, music but real subjects treated below the surface.

Unexpected (though most of us have seen the TV film) was how moving Alan Bennett’s portrayal of Guy Burgess in “An Englishman Abroad” was. Ms Kidd and Nick Waring played the pathos and seedy despair of the Moscow apartment perfectly. Many of the audience were, of course, expats themselves and although we have the freedom to travel (well, up to now..) we miss simple things just as Burgess missed his Savile Row suits and cosmopolitan friends. But what a sad figure he cut despite the desperate, whisky fuelled, humour.

Donald gave us a portrayal of a president and an officer, which would have been funny if it was not so potentially true. Purporting to be a posthumous work of Harold Pinter (how prescient for a playwright who died some10 years ago) the Pres in question “nuked” London, the capital as he thought of France. Then appraised too late of his error, nuked Paris in reprisal. Donald’s duet with Claire Carrie from the Osborne play was another view of broken love, and a situation probably familiar to many of the audience.
One thing we audiences at the Colombier have learned is just how versatile these actors can be. Delena Kidd played an elderly thespian forgetting all her lines, an acerbic snob, and a lovely portrayal of Corale Browne. Claire Carrie was a desperate housewife and a passionate lover; Nick Waring superb as the crawling male equivalent of Beverley Moss (remember Abigail’s Party?) in the hilarious Ayckbourn excerpt and the pathetic Burgess. And there was singing.

Donald in his variety of roles even managed to look presidential in his MAGA baseball cap. Making Les Cabannes great again is well on course with FET.

Big April book sale

Dear Book Sale Supporter,

I have been receiving emails asking, and now I am happy to tell you that, yes,  it's that time again, our Spring Book Sale will be on Saturday 13th April at the Salle de Fetes, St. Pantaleon, (Lot) from 10am to 3pm. As usual we will have thousands of books and dvds at one euro each, cds at 50 cents and the very best of best home made cakes for your delectation !  There will also be soup and savouries to keep your strength up at lunchtime before you delve back in to the books.  I know I always say so, but I really mean it, we have a great selection of books not just the usual same 'ol, same 'ol.  Profits will be split between Poorpaws Dog Rescue, La Mere aux Betes and Cancer Support France.

If you have books to donate, please bring them with you to kick start our Autumn sale.
Look forward to seeing you there !

Sue Glibbery.   Queries to 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Topsoil and turf?

A new family who have bought a holiday home in our village, near Caylus, (82160) asked me if I know of anyone who sells and delivers topsoil and rolls of lawn turf.  We don't but I thought of you and your contacts via your site.  If so, I can be contacted on tel: 0563240181, in French or English.  Thank you.

Gite cleaner needed in Ginals

Would it be possible for us to advertise for a Cleaner for our holiday rental property in the magazine? 
Our house in Ginals is managed by Le Cloup Assistance but the Cleaner they employed last year has just said that she is moving back to the UK and what with the house booked for the summer season, we are now in a bit of a panic!

 Caralyn Nicholson


King Tut in Paris

What is being billed at the last tour of objects found in the tomb of Tutankhamun opens in Paris tomorrow. 150 items of what Howard Carter described as "wonderful things" when he opened the tomb will be on show until 15th September. The exhibition includes 60 items which have not been seen before outside Egypt.
Over 150000 tickets have already been sold (the first tour here in 1967 attracted 1.2 million visitors).
The exhibition, in the Grande Halle de la Villette, includes films and displays about the king and the discovery.
Link here to the official web site (in English). King Tut expo

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Sign please, our last chance perhaps

Click this link to sign the petition "Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU."

Buy your train ticket first, or pay more

Many regions have strengthened their anti-fraud mesures on TER trains, such as those on the Toulouse- Figeac or Caussade-Montauban lines. Apparently conductors  checking tickets on the train will no longer accept an excuse for not having a ticket and will charge a higher fare than the standard.
As many stations do not have a ticket office nor a machine from which a ticket can be purchased the only means open is to pay on-line and either print a ticket off or download it to a smart phone.
An example is given of a 13.20 euro ticket bought beforehand being 25 euros if bought from the conductor.
SNCF estimate that ticket fraud costs millions of euros per annum, but says a "genuine" reason should give recourse to a reimbursement.**
The new regime apparently came into force on 20th March. Have any readers experienced this yet?

The recent meeting of rural mayors deplored the increasing withdrawal of personal services in favour of internet use. They consider that this penalises elderly people who may not be computer literate, despite their holding courses over the last 25 years to increase awareness.
We at Taglines are used to buying air and train tickets on-line, but still prefer paper to using our smart phones - to the despair of our younger family members. One imagines that many of our generation are the same.
** SNCF have said if you board at a station where there is no guichet nor machine the conductor should charge the correct fare. A suivre.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Lovely first day of spring

This morning has a beautiful blue sky, a nip in the air but prospects for a spring equinox under the sunshine. Meteo France recognises tomorrow, 21st March, as the start of spring, whereas the UK Met Office says today. Let's mark both with a walk in the country, an hour in the garden (or, as in our case) a trip to the dechetterie.

Jobs under threat in Aveyron

The Bosch factory at Onet-le-Chateau, Rodez, has been under threat for some time and a meeting with the group management in Stuttgart brought no good news. The factory make diesel injectors and the downturn in diesel engine demand has brought about a threat to the 1500 jobs in the area. It is certain that 300 jobs will be lost and the longer term future of the plant is uncertain.
Workers at the plant are currently on short-time hours, with five days per month lost.

Counting sheep

Chasseurs in the area around St-Enimie (Lozere) have begun an annual census of wild sheep - known as "mouflons" - in the Tarn valley. There are reckoned to be around 300 beasts, a fairly stable population. Chasseurs have a permit to cull 140 annually so this time of year when lambs are being born is a good time to make the count. The area available to the sheep is some 20000 hectares, but it is thought that they are sticking to the valley as there may be a new natural predator, wolves.
Because wolves dont much distinguish between wild and domestic sheep, shepherds and chasseurs want more freedom to hunt the predators. If presumably the wolves are controlled there will be more wild sheep to be hunted. A "win/win" for the hunters. Not so good for the wild life.
Perhaps the chasseurs will fall asleep counting all those sheep.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Civil war in the Bearn?

Béarnais amateur fishermen in the Pyrenees accuse the professional Basque fishermen off the coast of plundering the stocks of returning salmon to the detriment of their right to catch up to three fish per year on their fly fishing lines. Naturally the professionals refute this and claim they are being pilloried for following their right to make a living by netting the fish at the river mouth at Bayonne.
It is reckoned some 20000 salmon will return to the Gave de Pau and the Gave d'Oleron and attempt to return to their spawning grounds in the mountains.
The methods used by the professionals are claimed to be illegal: use of nets at unauthorised depths, preventing the fish from passing. They claim, however, that the tides will raise the depth and allow many fish to pass unhindered.
The amateur fishermen up stream reckon that if more specimens were in the rivers they could lead to an increase in tourism, with salmon stalkers no longer needing to go to Scotland or Norway for their sport.
Stocks are carefully monitored by government environment officers, but the dispute has apparently gone to court for clarification. Both sides agree that cleaning up the water is necessary to keep the fish coming.

Caroline Maslin helps you spring clean

Hi All,

Spring has sprung and thankfully my health is back on track and I am feeling well.

I have decided that I need to get moving again, even with my walking and yoga, I want to start getting more active, so I am offering my services once again for cleaning this year.
I have already signed up for a bit of gite work this summer, but I thought I would offer my services for general spring cleaning, windows, deep cleans etc etc for those who want to dust the cobwebs off their homes after the winter. 

Also, have you heard of the Konmari method of decluttering and cleaning? You may have been on Mars if you haven't! This is a way to sort out clutter and unwanted items in your home, or just generally organising your home in a more efficient way. It's pretty impressive and really can help in other areas of your life; tidy house, tidy mind!
There is also this craze of Swedish death cleaning,  which sounds grim, but actually is a very positive thing and along the same lines as Konmarie.  We all have too much stuff and it's about letting go of items that do not serve you. I have just done a major clean out, using these methods and I have bagged about 10 large sacks of clothes, 4 large boxes of books and much more, which are thankfully going to be sold or donated to charity next month. With Cancer Support France, I am organising a 'Vide Armoire' on the 13th of April, at yoga Jo's studio in Les Cabannes. More info to follow or contact me if you'd like to know more.

Here are some articles about those methods:

Sometimes it's easier to do these things with someone else helping you and spurring you on!  So, I am also offering my services to help with de cluttering and organisation for those who would like some help to feel lighter and brighter in their homes and lives!

My fees are 24€ an hour and I am a registered auto entrepreneur, so I can accept cheques.
I look forward to hearing from you, and please feel free to pass on my info to your friends in the area. My number is 06 16 32 25 44 if you'd like to have a chat about your requirements.

Kind regards and happy cleaning!
Caroline xx

Unions' day of action today

Several unions in the public sector have called for a strike today in pursuit of demands for improvements to their standard of living. Since not all unions are involved the effect may be patchy, but schools, transport and social service offices may be closed.
Readers with appointments with such offices mat well be advised to check.
Most local TER trains are expected to run normally.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Clover seeds to save the bees

A bee-keeper in the Pyrenees offered to send clover seeds to anyone in the world who wanted them to promote the welfare of wild bees, which he says are essential to the ecology. More than 60000 replies were received and now Nicholas Puech is getting the first 40000 envelopes to be posted. He asked people to send him clover seeds and volunteers helped him to fill the envelopes, which will be posted to addresses throughout France, Europe, Africa and North America.
He hopes to introduce the idea into schools in September and repeat the exercise with other seeds.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

More from NZ

I found this article from that you might be interested in:
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
Dear Val,  We are blessed to have Jacinda Adern as our PM at this time , supported by our Mayor Lianne Dalziel who whilst an MP helped me many years ago when I was trying to save a drop in centre for people with severe mental illness.   On the day we closed and I had to tell the members that the doors would close  for good at 5pm, Lianne came with a bunch of flowers for me and sat in a corner well away from the media action, to support me . I have never forgotten and as a result of her support at that time I helped in her electorate office  with work for people of the Eastern suburbs who were the most affected by the earthquakes.   Love Ann

A weekend of marches

More than 350000 people marched throughout France yesterday to protest the government's perceived inaction on the climate changes. Of these around 45000 took to the streets of Paris, peaceably according to reports.
At the same time about 35000 "gilets jaunes" demonstrated, of whom around 10000 in the capital. Their protest included an attack on the shops and banks on the Champs Elysees, causing serious damage and looting. Probably the "casseurs" were from a fringe minority of ultra left wing anarchists whose aim is to destroy capitalism and its more obvious symbols. One apologist said it was, in their eyes, their only means of getting their point across.
A Melenchon party politician urged the two movements to combine their efforts as it is the only way things change in France: "Remember 1789, 1968, 1981.." A French friend (of left wing persuasion) reminded us recently that "France is a country of revolution". So logically the climate protestors should start to sack the city streets and block the roundabouts. The legitimate concerns of the gilet jaune protestors have been lost in the fog of tear gas as a result of extremist infiltration. The climate protestors, led by so many school and college students, should be wary of this.
Of course in the UK,  Farage called out his supporters to march from Sunderland to Westminster and around 400 heeded the call and set out in the rain.
Next Saturday 23rd March at least 500000 are expected to join an anti-Brexit march in London (the previous march attracted around 600000).

Saturday, 16 March 2019

A message from Christchurch

Dear Val and all tagliners.

This may well be very incoherent but just want to thank you for your support.   This is so different from the horror of the earthquakes and all that followed that natural disaster, so much worse

So much happening thankfully NZ has responded with disgust etc.   WE are led by a Prime Minister and Mayor  who reflected the views of real NZers and hopefully survivors will realise how much they are part of NZ and valued for their contribution to NZ.    WE ARE TOGETHER .  I know there are Kiwis and Aussies who are part of the Tagline Community and I send them greetings.   KIA KAHA & AROHANUI    Much Love Ann

Val and Sally say
And the reaction of the real New Zealanders is heartwarming and inspirational. ❤️❤️❤️
We are all of one heart and mind on this one Ann

Transport help needed. LIFT FOUND

Hi Val
You were very helpful earlier on the dog sitting front but this is perhaps more of a long shot especially at shortish notice.
I was wondering if you knew anybody who does airport pickups from Toulouse. We’re flying back from Perth,WA via Paris on Wednesday 20th March and the friend due to pick us can no longer do it. The AF flight is due to land just before 9am so we should be ready for a comfortable pick up at say 10am at the express drop off/pickup. It would be just my wife and I, 2 standard cases and hand luggage.
However that is perhaps too much detail at this stage!
Best wishes

Friday, 15 March 2019

What’s happening in April

So looking forward to our new venture in Varen.
Not everything in life is about making  money for Mains Tendues 82. I must explain  as well as making money we do give lots of furniture and clothes to others in need.
Now as our group relocate to the building next door which is marvellously placed in the centre of Varen opposite the halle, 
We have plans to bring art in all its forms to Varen... and on market day.
For April we open the old mairie to a local group we are delighted to have exhibit. The group are from Verfeil sur Seye and are collectively called “ Sol handi “ They are a  group of handicapped people who love life and their art
Terence, Sarah and I were very impressed with their artwork when we visited them recently in their permanent building in Verfeil where the day centre is open 5 days a week.
The theme of their exhibition will be “ Joy” and will open on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning of the 12 th and 13 th of April.

The following week end, Easter week end the 19 th and 20 th of April we will have an artist called Rana Rodgers exhibiting.
She will send me her own publicity photos but I have added a picture of mine that I love of Rana’s.

Then on Saturday the 27 th we will be hosting the local group of Cancer Support France, coming to spread the word with tea, coffee and cakes.
Our programme for May has still to be decided so let us know if you can exhibit and with what you do which will add art and life to our village project. 
Art comes in many forms and the life and enrichment of our village is what we have planned.
Market day in Varen is alreading buzzing and why not come and enjoy it with us.
Interestingly guess  what we had for lunch?
Turkey eggs donated by a friend and they were delicious.

Psst! wanna buy a rendez-vous?

Those of us trying to get a rendez-vous at the prefecture to renew or apply for a titre de sejour know how difficult it has become. The site for the Herault prefecture is so saturated that it is virtually impossible for those with a titre to renew it. But foreigners who fear they may become illegal (like many Brits with Brexit looming) have been resorting to underhand black market schemes to get a slot.
Enterprising types have found that surfing all the avenues throws up rdv's which they reserve using fictitious names and email adresses. Then like all black marketeers they find desperate clients willing to pay between 50 and 110 euros for the time. Once the deal agreed they cancel the rdv and re-book in the correct name.
The prefecture has become aware of this and has ceased to post slots as they become free, but on a random basis. We cannot see how this will improve things but no doubt the crooks will suss it out.
Apart from being amoral, it is illegal.

The tragic news from New Zealand

On March 3rd, barely two weeks ago, we received (and published in Taglines) a message from our friend Ann in Christchurch, New Zealand.
She told us that for the first time in 8 years, since the devastating earthquake, the city was in a position to house new refugees from Syria and other dangerous places. Yet today that welcoming attitude has been shattered by a group of killers whose only intention was to kill as many Muslims as possible. Imagine fleeing Syria, Afghanistan or Myanmar at great risk to life only to meet extremist terrorists in possibly the safest country in the world.
Taglines sends its support to Ann and her friends in Christchurch.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

"Up-cycling" your waste

Recycling program  to reduce waste

Give a second life to the items you no longer want.

Every month, Fripaffaires organizes a recycling workshop our next workshop is on March 26, 14 h: 

Learn how to  make cushion covers and phone holders from clothes

Book your place for our free workshop  -

Fripaffaires, Pôle médical, Parisot, 82160

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Short films in view

A festival of short films opens tomorrow (Wednesday 13th March) in Najac. There are films to suit all ages, including two morning sessions for children. Thursday 14th March includes a session at 20h30 when seven short films on the subject of migration, "Un Monde Sans Frontieres?" will be shown. The films are to be shown at L'Hors Loge in rue de la Loge.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Restos de Coeur

Strangely enough the story below elicited several responses along the lines of "many French people cannot afford 15 euros to eat in a restaurant". That was to entirely miss the point of the story: the difference in standard of living between a rich western country and war torn Afghanistan. Of course there are poor people here but the fact that the restaurant catering to workmen and commercials is pretty well full every day suggests that plenty of French working people can afford it.
Today (Saturday) is the last day of the collection of foodstuffs for the Restos de Coeur, a benevolent organisation which hands out necessities to needy people.
We made a cash donation to the local branch via Mains Tendues 82 earlier in the year and the president explained to us what they do and who their clients are.
Around half of their clients are under 25 years of age, and 38% of them minor children from poor, mainly monoparental families. The young adults include students, unemployed or those in poorly paid part-time jobs. Elderly clients are often pensioners living alone or on small incomes. Unemployed, "sans abris", large families struggling with household rents and utilities, school costs and transport are all typical clients.
In many supermarkets today volunteers in their pink gilets will be hoping to meet their target of 8000 tons of donations, equivalent to eight million meals.
The 72000 volunteers working throughout the year have noticed an increase in the quality of goods donated, reflecting often the things people buy for their own use. As well as foodstuffs RdC ask for hygiene and grooming products which can be expensive.
But as one shopper remarked yesterday "I have what I need, so I want to share a little with those who do not".

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Working together

Je pensais que cela pourrait vous intéresser.
Aujourd'hui, nous sommes allés chercher des meubles avec deux jeunes Afghans. En passant devant le restaurant Segalar, des ouvriers y allaient déjeuner et Malc expliqua que c'était un bon restaurant pour un déjeuner à 5 plats ne coûtant que 15 euros environ, vin et café compris.
L'un des gars a déclaré: «Cela nous semble tellement cher. En Afghanistan, vous pouvez acheter un mouton entier et nourrir une grande famille pendant une semaine à ce prix »
Nous avons dû sourire😀

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Reminder for FET's new season

Our first show of the new year is 4 Lovea collection of six famous scenes from six famous plays performed by four actors: Delena Kiddwho played in Sweet Mr Shakespeare, Claire Carrie from the RSCNicholas Waring from East Enders, and Donald Douglas from Cordes-sur-Ciel!

It promises to be an entertaining evening of laughter, tears and surprises, courtesy of some of the most brilliant English playwrights of the 20th century: Michael Frayn's Noises OffJohn Osborne's Look Back In AngerAlan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person SingularAlan Bennet's Single SpiesHarold Pinter's The President and Noël Coward's Private Lives.

The show will play for two weeks in Cape Town, before coming to the Colombier on Friday 22nd March.

Book early to avoid disappointment!
The bar opens at 6pm and the performance will start at 7pm.

To book your tickets, please email:
Members €25 Non-Members €30

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

Ruth Etridge FET Secretary

Brilliant morning bringing sunshine 🌝

What a brilliant morning this morning.
First of all Malc and I loaded the four flat screen Tv’s into the car and drove to Parisot to hand out televisions.
Then with Abdul Rahim and Mamoud, one African and one Afghan we drove to Intersport at Villefranche where we bought 4 “propa” footballs, two Paris St. Germaine and an other 2 Barcelona( Malc was disappointed not to find any Middlesbrough)
Then we bought a solid looking outdoor table tennis table and lots of bats and ping pong balls.
Then we bought a dartboard having taken another second hand one this morning as well as everything else
A box of cakes left over from our apero evening and our morning was complete.
Malc and I drove home singing, we were so happy.
This is why we and all the team at Mains Tendues  work our socks off to help others.

March of the Century

We published recently calls for a march for the planet on 31st March, organised locally. But 140 organisations, including Greenpeace, Nicolas Hulot Foundation, Secours Catholique, SOS racisme and many others have called people, especially the young, to join in a mass "March of the Century" on Saturday 16th March.
This is taking advantage of the Friday protests we also reported on recently, with school and university students making their feelings on climate change known by strikes and demonstrations. As with most Fridays there will be some manifestations on 15th and the groups have asked that those worldwide events be followed on the next day with a massive march.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Visitor tax starting to bite

The growth of short term residential lettings, either a gite or Airbnb, is a concern apparently to the bigger organisations such as hotels. They claim that owners of such short term premises compete unfairly as they don't have the same standards to meet, do not pay business rates and often do not pay tax on their earnings.
Having the "stay" tax now charged by internet letting companies such as Homeaway or Airbnb means owners no longer need to account for it, but the bureaucracy of registering and making monthly reports for other sources remains. In Tarn and Garonne the nightly rate is fixed at 5% (not a straight percentage of the gross rental, there are "chargeable" and "exempt" guests) and other areas have other rates.
The rates charged include the tax which is paid by the guests, but remitted by the owner or manager. The amounts are supposed to fund the tourism infrastructure which will attract and improve the stay of visitors to the area. As a gite owner we can appreciate that big cities or resorts may see the competition as unfair, but given the absolute dearth of decent hotel accommodation in this part of the world we are actually only competing with other gite owners.
The stay tax is in addition to the tax fonciere and habitation and in most cases the income tax we pay on the letting income. Maintaining our properties is not cheap and wages for cleaners, gardeners and managers can be substantial. Mostly we are private owners wanting a bit of income from our property and not extra bureaucratic paper work (sorry, internet work).
Where is my gilet jaune!