Monday, 20 November 2017


Hi Val and Malcolm,
 How are you both? The weather is so nice at the moment, fog in the morning and sun later on....I enjoy it a lot, doing all the planting, re-potting sorting out the fences and's my kind of weather.
Christmas is around the corner and someone was asking me where one could buy Christmas crackers. I don't know is what I told her. I rang Appostrophe in Montauban and they don't know if they will sell them later on. On line, a lady was saying that she got some from Toulouse but was disappointed, as the price was too high for the poor quality of the contents.....Would anybody know where to find some decent ones around here?
All the best to all, 

Freezer needed

Freezer needed / congelateur
We are being recognised as a group to help the village and i would really like to help this first request.
We got one from the Moulin but just discovered it does not work.
Anyone got one they can give or for a small price. It would be super to be able to find one.
All the pensioners dinners and dances could be at stake!!!
Frédéric just sent this message.

Hey Val ! The "adjoint au maire" just called me to see if we had a "congélateur" they could use/buy (?) for the "salle des fêtes". Sorry for my franglish : I cant find my words today...

Wine finances this hospital

The Centre Hospitalier de Beaune (Bourgogne) possesses significant high quality vineyards that each year it holds an auction of its new vintage. Not the faddy "vin primeur" of Beaujolais, but desirable grands crus. The amounts raised generally indicate the expected quality of the vintage, with 2017 looking to be a good year. The "pieces des presidents" are barrels of 200 litres, this year of Corton Grand Cru , Clos du Roi and they were sold for a total of 400000 euros (the 2016 vintage made 200000 euros, 2015 420000 euros). The total realised in 2016 was 8 million euros, allowing the hospital to undertake significant building works and buy equipment it needs. This year's total is expected to exceed 11 million.
The original charitable foundation for the Hospice de Beaune now funds the hospital, but the proceeds from the "pieces des presidents" auction is shared amongst other health and environmental charities.
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Nous sommes le lundi vingt novembre

A very foggy  morning and Malc tells me it could be 16h before it gets sunny.
We have had a lovely Eritrean family staying with us this weekend with their new born baby, it has been a wonderful moment for us all.

We have had a local lady Helen Thomas make a sketch to be the symbol of our new association.
The association will be called "Mains tendues82"
Our aims will be to help anyone in the area who needs help any nationality, young, old, refugee, even perhaps animal associations. We would really like a first donation to be to the local infants school.
Over the next few weeks as we set up we will be telling you more and asking for your help as always.
None of this could be achieved without you.
I thought  you would like to see some young  friends who were here last night and our new logo, if approved by the committee.

Portes Ouvertes at Caylus

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Can anyone take on Betty?

Dear Malcolm and Valerie
I was so glad to meet you at last and was thrilled about the connection with Mirka. It’s lovely to have the photo of Mirka with me thank you.
I am temporarily looking after an elderly chien de chasse who was found in Fenyrolls, she is blind, very gentle, and calm, Kathy is trying to find her a forever home and I wondered if you could mention her plight on tag lines I have called her Betty she is a very sweet lovely girl.
Please let me know if I can help in any way regarding the boys or help with the shop when you set it up.
Very Best Wishes
Margaret x

Val says Margaret already has two dogs so having a third even as a fosterer is not easy. It takes a special person who will adopt Betty. An old, gentle dog who is blind. It would be lovely if someone could take her on for what is left of her short life.
Contact me if you want to know more and I can arrange a meeting.

Najac 110 years ago

Hi Val
Interesting to compare your photo with this one taken 110 years ago on 31.08.1907.
More on this coming up soon on Taglines

Theatre workshops

Five Saturdays in term time, from next week until June 2018. 20 euros a session, or 80 euros for all five. Salle des Thermes, St Antonin.

FET end of year production


Only 4 weeks to go until our last show of 2017.

To ensure that FET can keep putting on these shows for you, why not bring along some new faces? We need ‘new blood’ to keep growing and  maintain our high standard of professional productions.

So if you haven’t already done so, round your friends up, reserve your tickets, and let’s go for a full house for the end of this season. If you needed any more encouragement, there’ll be seasonal refreshments too!
Ruth Etridge

Nous sommes le dimanche dix neuf novembre

A sad day really as our long time friend Jill Spearman has returned definitively to the UK. Jill arrived here about the same time as us in 2001 and we have been happy to be in her company (and not just because she is a superb cook!). She integrated herself in village life in more ways than many of us could imagine, though her stream of lovely interesting visitors and family from the UK and beyond made many a lively and often hilarious dinner party. We are going to miss our friend, but Birmingham is not too far and we are sure we will see each other again. Good luck Jill from us all.
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Tintin still setting records

Hergé original from the Sword of Ottakar, 1939
The boy reporter always excites Hergé collectors when an original piece of artwork is for sale.
In Paris a drawing for a 1939 Belgian weekly magazine, in which the adventures of Tintin were serialised, was sold in Paris yesterday (Saturday 18th November) for 505000 euros. The page was the cover for the February edition that year, before the drawings were gathered together into an album.
Collectors seek especially these original drawings, though the albums also very popular in their original editions. Tintin holds the record for double page BD spreads sold at auction, when the endpaper design sold for 2.6 million euros in 2014.
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It was cool in Najac

Saturday afternoon on a beautiful crisp sunny November day was a reminder of just how deserted these villages are in winter. With most of the shops closed and only a few tourists (plus a couple of unlucky pompiers trying to deliver calendars) the streets were practically deserted. And as sunset approached the compulsory "Taj Mahal" photo shot (down the main street with the castle in the background) showed the evening mist forming round the castle.
Yet the glorious sunshine enhanced deserted streets making our walk a real pleasure.
The cross is not actually leaning - it's a distortion from the camera's lens (honest!).

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Who could stoop so low?

Notice in Secours Populaire's window (screenshot hence quality)
There are people who criticise what we do to help others (and it's not just refugees, but Cancer Support, Red Cross, lost dogs and cats, children in Africa, Alzheimer 82 etc) but we don't imagine even those critics would endorse the theft of Christmas presents from a Secours Populaire depot in Gard.
The association sells clothes, toys and furniture in order to buy food hampers for families in need  and had planned a Christmas event to collect toys, supplying chocolates as gifts to those attending.
But a break-in to the depot led to the theft of 900 euros worth of the chocolates, causing the association to have to spend precious funds for a replacement. The association has distributed over 200 parcels to needy families this month and is disgusted that there are people who will steal from the neediest.
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Nous sommes le samedi dix huit novembre

Oh God , I feel drunk!
last night we went to our local bar in Varen to celebrate the 94 th birthday of our dear friend David Clench who died a few weeks ago. We had such a busy day I felt I needed a stiff drink and ordered a gin and tonic. It must have been a treble!!
Lovely moment to remember artist And friend David Clench.
But then who should come to the bar but the Mayor of Varen. The conseil of Varen met  Thursday evening and I have been longing to know if we would get permission to use the old town hall which is directly opposite the halle as a selling point to raise money for the village and local refugees.
Being slightly tipsy I went to the maire to ask if he had " des bonnes nouvelles"
He said " oui madame Johnstone nous avons des bonnes nouvelles" 
I do not think I kissed him but I certainly give him a squeeze.
He said as soon as our association was created we could go ahead. yipee!!
Sadly already feeling a bit  drunk someone bought me a huge glass of red wine and Malc had to drive us home.
The Mayor and I are getting to the stage he might call me  Val soon!!

A couple of lovely kittens

Can anyone give  loving homes to these tinies? 

One is a  grey tabby and one a smoother-haired tortoiseshell with a little kink at the end of her tail.   

Born on 7th September,   these babies  were abandoned on a door-step before even  their eyes were open.

These kittens  are hand-reared and  they are  loving, confident and VERY purry!   

These sister-kittens are  10 weeks old now and are ready to step out into the world -

 and  into someone's  heart and home. 

They are eating solid food  (not bottle-fed now!),  have litter-trained themselves and entertain each other endlessly. 

They have been introduced to cat-friendly dogs.      When the time is right,  their  sterilisation operation  will be FREE but obligatory. Further details available concerning this  later.  
Can  you  help me to help them find their special places?    Ready when YOU are...!

Please contact Andrea  for  kitten-viewing at:     'La Reverie' Chambre d'hôte in St Antonin Noble Val,

                        Tel: 06 84 15 52 11           email:

Friday, 17 November 2017

What a lovely surprise

We had a call to go and see Margaret who had some items to give the refugees
When we arrived we were greeted by her two friendly dogs.
I looked at the elderly dog and said 
“Can you tell me that dogs name 
It was indeed Mirka, a brittany spaniel we had been a foster family for some years ago.
An absolutely adorable dog, but a little rascal food thief and apparently still is.
When we took her in she had an unslightly growth on her eye which the vet said was best to remove. I think we raised the amount on TAG to have it done.
After us she went to another friend Caroline but did  not get on with her cats
Margaret is now the new owner, A delightful lady I had not met before. I am sure I will see her and  
Mirka again and so lovely to see Mirka  happy and settled.

Rodez to lose a Michelin star

Colourful dish from Gouts et Couleurs
There is only one restaurant in Rodez with a Michelin star - the Gouts et Couleurs, in the city centre. Opened in 1989 by Jean-Luc Fau and his wife Emmanuelle they received the accolade in 2002. But now they have decided to sell up and concentrate on other interests. M Fau says he has not lost the taste for cooking, but running a high class restaurant, especially with a Michelin star, involves him in so much administration that he only spends 20% of his working time in the kitchen. A buyer has been found and will take over in early 2018.
After Sebastien Bras voluntarily gave up his three stars is Aveyron losing its gastronomic excellence?
Of course Bras is still open in Aubrac and Fagegaltier at Belcastel, but those of you who like to "tick off" Michelin stars in your red guide may have to look further afield. We at Taglines had a perfectly agreeable lunch yesterday in La Seye et Vous, Verfeil sur Seye, for just 13.50 euros.
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Nous sommes le vendredi dix sept novembre

Last night Malc was playing bridge at Caylus and as I made a cup of tea, I saw the sky from the back balcony. The lights were twinkling down in Varen and as I went out and stayed to gaze around I had an overwhelming sense of peace. 
I have had the busiest week and this week end we have the 6 Albanians arriving in the gite and tonight we have a young couple from Eritrea with a 5 month old baby coming to stay in with us for the weekend.
So another busy time ahead.
It is great to have some time to oneself and reflect upon your life. My reflections made the calm feeling I had even more heightened. The best thing in life is helping others, if you have health and the opportunity, I can vouch it works for your inner peace.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Dr Bouvier appeals for warm clothes

Not for herself of course, but as the doctor treating the refugees housed at Verfeil she is concerned that the cold weather is affecting them. They have mainly light weight summer clothing and unsuitable footwear.
We at Taglines have, thanks to you, supplied lots of clothes over the last five months, but often they are large European older gentlemen's clothes which don't fit. We are expecting some warm coats soon and recently had a bag of socks given.
Shoes in good condition from size 42 - 46 would be welcome, as well as scarves and gloves.
Dr Bouvier says these things can be left at the Varen medical centre or, of course, with us at Mas del Sol.
There will be many others who will be suffering from the cold this winter: old people; homeless; children of poorer families. Please take note of neighbours who may need help, let authorities know if you see problems, give generously to all those in need.
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Champagne glasses

Still have lots of champagne glasses for sale

Two large round tablecloths

Actually a round large red table cloth with a crochet/ lace throw over, perfect for your Christmas table
The lace has a snag at the edge easily repaired. 15 euros each

Martini glasses

Eleven glasses for 8 euros

Table for sale

A table which extends, looks as if it is stained but is just that I wiped the dust off with a damp cloth
100 euros and I could do a deal to include 6 chairs

Homemade traditional cassoulet

Hello Val and Malcolm,

Thought this might interest your readers.  I am attempting a rather ambitious, traditional (to this region) cassoulet which will take 2 days to make.  Hopefully it will past muster with the locals but I suppose this is one sort of dish that everyone has a different opinion on! Also and attached photo. Hope everything is going well and that you are are both, at last, over your dreadful colds.

Estabuffette is serving homemade, traditional cassoulet at the Bar du Viaur in Laguepie on Saturday 25th November at 20h. 15 euros includes boisson, plat avec pain et glace. Reservations essential by Tuesday 21st November Contact Sylvie at the Bar du Viaur 05 63 30 22 04 or by email

Joanne Schofield

Vide maison this weekend POSTPONED

Vide Maison at Pech Bernou to be postponed until January.
Kay and Jon Ogilvie have had to postpone their vide maison, which was to have been this Sunday and Sunday 26th November, until the new year.
A new date will be posted as soon as we know it. Contact Kay if you have queries

Very comfortable chairs for sale

We have 16 chairs for sale, they are very comfortable although they do not look it. We sold 8 yesterday and did a deal. We have 16 left 
10 euros each or a deal can be done on a bulk buy, 6 or more

Nous sommes le jeudi seize novembre

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

2023 Rugby World Cup

will be held in France.  Despite an estimation by evaluation experts for World Rugby that South Africa was the best candidate in just a couple of weeks ago, placing France second, the governing body has chosen France by 24 votes to 15.
France has excellent stadia, many built for the Euro 2016 football tournament and given its status as the leading tourist destination can offer excellent hospitality facilities.
Dates of matches is to be decided, but will include Toulouse and Bordeaux.
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Going cheap

10 euros a chair or 50 euros for 6

500 euro fine for leaf thrower

During a demonstration in Aveyron against the installation of windmills a group of ecologists tipped sacks of leaves at the feet of gendarmes policing the event. The policemen were not pleased and an altercation was finally broken up by CRS agents using tear gas. But one policeman brought charges against the only demonstrator arrested for "deliberate violence against a person in authority by throwing vegetable leaves". Although the agent did not lose any days off work he was subject to "psychological violence".
The court fined the aggressor 500 euros, plus 300 euros damages to the victim and 500 euros lawyers' fees. This is a warning that insulting a policeman can lead to a claim for damages on a personal basis by the agent whose uniform must be respected.
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Record order for Airbus

Picture: Airbus
430 Airbus A320/321 airplanes have been ordered by an American leasing group for a total of 34 billion euros. This takes the total planes in this model to over 5500 since it was introduced with new more economic engines in 2010.
The group's order book will be doubled and the Toulouse based group becomes the world's biggest producer of aeroplanes, overtaking American group Boeing. Employment prospects for the various production centres throughout Europe remain bright.
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Vintage by Divas

🎄Date: Saturday 25th November 2017🎄

🎄L'horaires: 10am - 6pm🎄

🎄Ou: L'école Buissonnière, Castlenau de Montmiral🎄

(English translation below)

Nous sommes heureux d'annoncer que Vintage by Divas s'est associé avec L'école Buissoniére à Castlenau de Montmiral pour vous offrir une journée de shopping juste à temps pour Noël!

L'ecole Buissoniére est une belle boutique, avec une superbe sélection de décoration pour la maison, parfaite pour préparer votre maison pour les fêtes de fin d'année ou pour trouver le cadeau idéal.

Vintage by Divas a des nouveautées pour l'hiver, y compris une sélection de beaux manteaux d'hiver et de superbes robes, parfaites pour la saison festive. Nous avons Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Desigual et beaucoup d'autres marques de créateurs en parfait état et à des prix extrêmement raisonnables.

La boutique, qui est située à cote de la salle des fetes est ouverte de 10h à 19h et il y aura un apéro offert après 16h30.

S'il vous plaît venez et faites suivre à tous vos amis!

We are pleased to announce that Vintage by Divas have teamed up with L'ecole Buissoniére in Castlenau de Montmiral to bring you a day of shopping just in time for Christmas!  

L'ecole Buissoniére is a beautiful shop, with a stunning selection of home decor, perfect for getting your house ready for the festive season or to find that ideal gift.

Vintage by Divas have some new stock in for the winter, including a selection of beautiful winter coats and stunning dresses, perfect for the upcoming party season.  We have Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Desigual and many more designer labels all in perfect condition and at extremely reasonable prices.

The shop, which is located just beside the salle des fetes is open from 10am to 7pmand there will be an free apero offered after 16h30

Please come and forward to all your friends!


Nous sommes le mercredi quinze novembre

How generous some people are.
Yesterday I did three trips with the trailer picking things up to sell or to give to refugees if useful.
As I had spent the morning moving furniture and making up beds for the new arrivals, and afternoon organising a big furnitue move, it left me tired out and quite happy to doze the evening on the sofa.
Malc is going out this afternoon picking up so I can start posting to sell.
Things for sale being posted soon.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Have we been wasting our money?

The editorial staff of Taglines has been suffering these last few weeks with severe colds. Not just winter sniffles, but full blown coughing, sneezing and wheezing colds. A cold is not something to bother the doctor with so one resorts to non-prescribed remedies. If we had taken all the advice given by friends and neighbours we would have spent time dosing with herbal remedies, all laced liberally with whisky.
But generally we went for paracetamol and powders and potions from the pharmacy. As one friend said "you spend a week either taking medicines or doing nothing, then you get better." Now a study by the French consumer group 60 million de consommateurs suggests that 45% of over the counter remedies do as much harm as good and are probably ineffective.
Part of the problem stems from the Ministry of Health banning the use of codeine without prescription, meaning remedies which were reasonably effective have been replaced with less useful drugs.
The following items are considered to present bigger risk than benefit

Colds. Actifed Rhume, Actifed Rhume Jour & Nuit, Dolirhume Paracétamol et Pseudoéphédrine, Nurofen Rhume, Rhinadvil Rhume ibuprofène/pseudoéphédrine, HumexLib paracétamol chlorphénamine.
Coughs. Bronchokod sans sucre toux grasse adultes, Exomuc toux grasse orange, Fluimucil expectorant sans sucre orange, Humex toux sèche oxomémazine sans sucre, Mucomyst toux grasse orange, Toplexil sans sucre.
Sore throat. Angi-spray mal de gorge, Colludol, Drill, Drill miel rosat, Hexaspray, Humex mal de gorge lidocaïne-benzalkonium, Strefen sans sucre, Strepsils lidocaïne, Strepsils miel citron.
Flu. Actifed états grippaux, Doli état grippal, Fervex état grippal.
Diahorrea. Ercéfuryl.
Constipation. Dulcolax, Pursennide.
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Nous sommes le mardi quatorze novembre

 In the Telegraph yesterday
oops, Brexit is reversible posted twice ; well it is a message we all need to know.