Friday, 26 May 2017

No sand on the beach

Paris Plage has been a constant source of pleasure over the last 15 years for Parisiens and visitors alike. Installed on the banks of the Seine with sun loungers, umbrellas, ice-cream sellers, bathing pools - and sand.
But this year no sand castles or beach volley ball because the city council has decided for various reasons, including "ethical" not to renew its contract with Lafarge to supply sand. Transport costs, hygiene, environmental issues in bringing and removing hundreds of tons of sand are considered. And perhaps the row Lafarge had over its paying armed groups close to ISIS to keep its Syrian plant open.
But there will be grass, wooden decks and lots of transats (deckchairs and loungers) and capacity for up to 300 bathers. The beaches will open on 8th July until 3rd September.
It is not known yet when Laguepie Plage will be open - but definitely no sand here.
family fun at Laguepie

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Nous sommes le vendredi vingt six mai

Yesterday was Ascension day and the day before Ramadan, so we had a small impromtu party for the young people who help and the boys needing our help.
So lovely to see young and old, all colours, all religions many different languages, all being friends together.
One boy was learning his numbers in French from his phone and Malc sat helping him with better pronounciation.
We swam, played games and eat together.
Our world, a  better world than the world of Trump, Le Pen and Isis.
Together we can make a difference.
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Macron's first G7

Newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron is attending his first G7 summit in Sicily. After scoring a victory over Donald Trump by winning the traditional bras de fer with the American's handshake (according to both French and US media), the French president moved onto less weighty matters. The world's seven richest countries made apparently little headway on such things as climate or commerce - but all were united on condemning terrorism. Mrs May and M Macron both have elections to fight, but the G7 summit has yielded little political mileage.
Never mind the world - we're OK. Caricature by Michael Kappeler/DPA/AFP

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Help needed for the children of Bamako, Mali

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Via Sahel Enfants D'Afrique
Domaine de Sautou

Our good friend Jean Marie and Winnie Nosal have sent this urgent message. The childrens nursery at Bamako has burnt down and although 250 very young children were saved and are being cared for in the fire station, they lack food, milk, covers, bedding.
What a dire situation.
Please I know you all donate often but this is an exceptional circumstance and your help is needed again. I will add the address to send cheques or money to.
We could also collect if that would help.

Suite a une incendie ce matin, la pouponniere de Bamako a ete severement endommage. La pouponniere a urgemment besoin de draps, du lait pour bebe 1er, 2em et 3em age. Merci de partager.

Chers Amis
Nous venons d'apprendre aujourd'hui par mail ci-dessus, le terrible drame qui vient de se produire à la pouponnière de Bamako.
Fort heureusement les 250 Bébés sont sains et sauves, ils sont actuellement logés chez les pompiers de Bamako.
Il se pose dans l'urgence, le problème de lait 1er, 2ème et 3 ème âge et tous les vêtements de Bébés et Enfants et des draps comme il nous est demandés.
Nous envisageons de collecter à la fois de l'argent et les vêtements que nous nous engageons à faire parvenir très vite !  Nous avons besoin de vous tous !
Merci de votre aide et merci pour les petits
Winnie et Jean Marie

Nous sommes le jeudi vingt cinq mai

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The EU wants to protect us

THE EU has set out formally its wish to guarantee all the key rights of British citizens living in the EU27 and EU27 citizens in Britain after Brexit – putting the ball in Britain’s court to agree to these terms.

Its ‘negotiation directives’ say safeguarding the 'status and rights' of the citizens and their families "is the first priority for the negotiations because of the number of people affected and the seriousness of the consequences of the withdrawal for them”.
The president of the Council of the EU, Louis Grech, said: “We have established the EU position on the key issues for the beginning of the talks. The rights of citizens are at the very top of our agenda and we aim for an ambitious solution, where those affected continue to enjoy their rights".
They say rights to be protected should be reciprocal between Britons and EU27 citizens, based on equal treatment, and should be enforceable and vested for life. Citizens should be able to exercise their rights through ‘smooth and simple’ procedures and any residence cards should be issued ‘under a simple and swift procedure’ essentially of a ‘declaratory nature’.
Rights protected should include:
  • The status and rights derived from EU law at the withdrawal date (ie. probably the end of March 2019)
  • Rights that the people concerned will only enjoy at a later date – for example rights related to pensions – and rights that are in the process of being obtained, including the chance to acquire them after the withdrawal date, under existing conditions. For example a Briton resident in France for two years on Brexit Day could gain ‘permanent residence’ rights three years later.
  • Rights of people who used to be expats in previous years but went back to their country of origin (eg. full rights to pensions)
  • Both economically active and ‘inactive’ people and students, and their family members who join them at any point in time before or after the withdrawal date
  • As a minimum, the definition of protected rights should include: residence and rights from free movement as under the EU treaties, including ‘permanent residence’ after five years and rights to access healthcare; rights obtained under social security coordination rules including exportable benefits and pension aggregation; workers’ rights such as access to the labour market or to run a business, social charge or tax advantages, and access to training. Rights of workers’ family members to education and training under the same rules as nationals.
  • Continuing recognition of qualifications that were recognised at the withdrawal date

Exhibition and workshops about prints in Laguepie

A l’occasion de la 5ème Fête de l’estampe dans toute la France, en Europe et dans le Tarn et Garonne
Arne Aullas d’Avignon vous invite
une petite histoire de la gravure
SAMEDI 27 ET DIMANCHE 28 MAI 2017 de 10H à 17H
Arne Aullas d’Avignon propose
et tarif de l’atelier
06 31 72 00 73
Événement organisé par Manifestampe :

Here's a bridge worth seeing

Many years ago we were taken by French friends on a picnic outing along the Viaur valley and we stopped to see an amazing railway bridge: the Viaur Viaduct. This fantastic structure was designed by an Albi engineer, Paul Bodin, in a competition which included Gustave Eiffel. Opening up the area to commercial rail traffic between Albi and Rodez in the early 20th century the bridge is a unique construction in France.
The structure made from steel with millions of rivets forged on site had as a principle arcs held in equilibrium by the weight of the train itself - a revolutionary concept which at first even train drivers were afraid to cross.
The villagers of Tanus have formed an association to restore the forgotten treasure and it will be revealed in its splendour later this year.

Viaduc du Viaur

Albi's oldest house

Photo Sylvain Duchampt
The Maison Fenasse is a private house by the marche couvert in Albi is thought to be the oldest house in the Tarn. Originally built in the 12th century by a wealthy merchant, the house still survives, though it has been altered and extended over the centuries. Built in the Roman style the stone arch seen on the first floor is a an important sign of its age. Originally built from stone, much of which survives, time and weather have caused much of the façade to be replaced with red brick. Travellers at that time would cross the river by the old bridge and climb up towards the cathedral, so many medieval houses were built around this area. Sadly many were demolished to be replaced by the covered market.
The Maison Fenasse is now divided into several private properties so is not open to visit.
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Nous sommes le mercredi vingt quatre

Promised sun again, it has not arrived yet...
Do not forget if you have a good meal out or even a poor meal to make a TOF report ( Tag on food)
We met some French holidaymakers in Laguepie on a Saturday. They asked where they could eat out for lunch. The answer " nowhere in Laguepie" The Deux Rivieres is closed Sat. lunch, the Pizzeria is closed and the building is up for auction with a guide price of 20,000 euros, what a bargain for someone. The little restaurant L' Oustal is up for sale due to ill health and the boulangerie is closed indefinitely, due to ill health. The "Fast fou" is not yet open.
We do now have the restaurant open certain days in Verfeil and the Moulin de Varen is open now, but closed Wednesdays. The Corniche is open but closed Wednesdays.
Tonight we are going to the Belle Rive at Najac, always good and of course with a view.
We heard that the Festin de Babette was up for sale, anyone know about this?
The Gazpacho is always open it seems and is always reasonably priced and worth the money and there are several other restaurants open in St Antonin.
Any other restaurants you want to mention?

Maggie says
L'esprit du Causse in Concots is very good, great value 14.5euros lunch including glass of wine & coffee.  Inspired chef, single menu, nice atmosphere, tables not all pushed together. They have a website & facebook page; have been open for about a year now, but we just were taken there last Friday. Worth a try for the Northern part of the TAG contingent.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

all for the church at Teysseroles

Long weekend ahead

Thursday 25th May is Ascension Day, and a national holiday here. Many people will use the Friday to faire le pont - literally to bridge to the weekend - meaning that the four days will be used for a long weekend break.
If you are planning to go by train it will be important to check the rail timetables because SNCF are planning major maintenance work from 16h on Thursday until 16h on Sunday. There will be no Intercity trains on the Toulouse - Limoges-Paris line, with some knock-on cancellations to the TER services using those lines. Toulouse - Bordeaux - Paris routes are unaffected. Some local services will have buses to replace trains, but they may well be fully booked.
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Trail des 3 Rocs

Nous sommes le mardi vingt trois mai

La vie des lavandières sur les bords du Daudou.
Carte postale datée et signée : 19 avril 1921.
carte postale Jean Marc Labarta

Monday, 22 May 2017

Nous sommes le lundi vingt deux mai

I was expecting wall to wall sun this morning so I am a bit disappointed with a cloudy sky. Malc tells me the forecast has changed and there could be rain this afternoon. Good growing weather but I do like the sun.
Another  busy day for me, organising young men, walking dogs, treating a problem with black mites in donkeys ears, and then we are invited out this evening.
Hours in the day are just not enough.
Enjoy your day everyone.
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Sunday, 21 May 2017

The new team at the Moulin

The team today, left to right
Patrick the chef
Camille the waitress
Christian, right hand man
Nathalie, wife of the chef

L'équipe d'aujourd'hui, de gauche à droite,
Patrick, Le Chef et nouveau propriétaire
Camille, votre adorable serveuse
Cristian, Le bras droit de Patrick sans son aide vous ne seriez pas aussi nombreux à pouvoir venir.
Nathalie, moi, l'épouse du Chef,
Merci beaucoup à vous tous pour la confiance que vous nous avez montrer ces 2 dernières semaines en venant manger au Moulin de Varen. En espérant vous y revoir très bientôt.

Blue Flag beach - in Aveyron

There are 53 blue flag beaches in Occitanie and naturally most of them are by the sea - but not all of them. Aveyron department is a long way from the sea, but it does have a massive reservoir at Pareloup. Designed largely as compensation for the rivers Tarn, Lot and Aveyron the huge plan d'eau is also used for leisure activities and its beach at Salles-Curan has been awarded the prestigious blue flag for the second year. Criteria include quality of water, cleanliness of the beach, state of the equipment and rubbish collection (including tri selectif). There are five inspections each season if the flag is to be retained.
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Nous sommes le dimanche vingt et un mai

"Dalida" at Laguepie

Les Medievales de Najac

Saturday, 20 May 2017

It is still there selling bread

A photo of the boulangerie in Lauzerte
photo be Lynda Thompson- Spack who has waited 5 years to be able to take the photo without the bread van parked infront of it.

Bal Ceilidh

This made me smile but is it funny

Sent by Sally from Najac
It is quite funny but shows what an unstable world we live in.
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Extra speed camera on A9

If you are driving to or from Spain via the A9 past Perpignan the road works between Le Boulou and the border  have a new mobile radar camera from last Wednesday. The camera can distinguish between lorries, cars and two wheel vehicles and apply the appropriate speed limit. Local police have noticed an increase in speeding through the area and poses a risk to motorists and road workers.
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A brush with the law

Fake "Tangle Teasers" seized
Customs officers in Montpellier seized 16000 hair brushes which had been imported from China. This follows the seizure of over 6000 toothbrushes by the same douaniers. The customs contacted the owners of the brand names who confirmed that the imports were fake and the counterfeit brushes were destroyed. It is estimated that the fakes would have cost 240000 euros to the genuine brands.

Nous sommes le samedi vingt mai

Looking down on St. Antonin Noble Val from Le Roc d'Anglers
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