Friday, 21 July 2017

A 100 year old stove for sale, what a beauty

A 100 year old stove for sale 
I forgot the price , asking € 600,-
Riet Gerrits

Riet GERRITS <>schreef:
Good afternoon,
I would like to advertise:  A very old ( about100 years old )stove, burns on wood or coal.
Including some old cast iron pans.
Riet Gerrits
Le Bosc
Saint Antonin Noble Val

A hint of Rio in St Antonin

This weekend St Antonin will echo to the rhythms of the samba as "Samba al Pais" comes to town. Not just Brazilian groups, but musicians from all parts of the world will be giving concerts, workshops, dance courses.
Details on line at

Tobacconists "en colere"

The government has proposed to raise the price of a pack of cigarettes progressively to 10 euros. Tobacconists (called buralistes) are naturally concerned that this will gradually put them out of business. Presumably the plan is to reduce smoking, but the buralistes claim this will not work as smokers will simply buy on the black market, overseas or on-line. Already over 25% of sales are made this way. To make their protest buralistes in Toulouse yesterday covered speed cameras with black bags as a symbolic  measure to deprive the government of revenue, just as the vendors will lose income.
A masked tobacconist blacks out a radar.
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Nous sommes le vendredi vingt et un juillet

Montricoux 22,23,24 July great local free feast

imagesThe association  Montricoux (ADM) has decided to reorganize a local festival for 3 days with numerous fairground attractions and three concerts free admission. These festivities will take place at the lower door and in the courtyard of the château, Musée Marcel-Lenoir.

The program:

Friday, July 21 at 7:30 pm , aperitif / concert local discovery groups followed by RBBB royal bédoune blues band

Saturday, July 22 at 3 pm friendly pétanque contest in doublette followed at 20:30 of DJOKER SHOW music disco

Sunday, July 23 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm vide grenier, 10:00 am old cars show, 3:00 pm friendly petanque contest in triplet followed at 8:00 pm with a concert with D115 .

Come and see

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A few things happening in the area.

Bit steep 7 euros to pay for fireworks at Parisot per person, also we are told that it costs 3 euros to get into the Parisot lake area and that the area is no longer dog friendly.
We used to enjoy our walks around the lake with our well behaved dogs

Army chief quits

The head of France's armed forces (chef d'etat majeur), Pierre de Villiers, has resigned over proposed cuts to the defence budget over the next 5 years. President Macron responded to the general's publicly expressed views by saying it was not the general's place to air his grievances in public.
With the government seeking cuts in all public spending the armed forces must bear their share, but France's military is heavily engaged overseas as well as dealing with the state of emergency here. Macron thinks it is the job of the Minister of Defence to make the case for the budget, in consultation with the generals and the treasury. A new chef has been appointed, 55 year old General Francois Lecointre, a veteran of many of French overseas missions, notably in Kosovo.
General Lecointre  in Mali 2013
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Lupins for food

Continuing Tag's harvest theme this morning, some farmers in the Tarn are experimenting with growing lupins as an animal feed crop. Some 60 hectares around Albi have been planted with lupins, which apparently have been known since before Roman times as a rich source of protein (and Omega 3, though one imagines the Romans did not know that). The Albigeois cooperative that is trying the crop also introduced flax as a crop a few years ago, giving the landscape a beautiful blue tinge.
First harvests of the lupins this week look promising and the crops will be mixed with other plants, such as flax, to provide a rich animal feed with 100% traceability.
Lupins growing near Albi

A surfeit of melons

Tarn and Garonne is the largest melon producing region in the south west and the superb weather these last couple of months has brought the crops to ripeness earlier than usual.
The problem is that many have matured at the same time and prices have dropped meaning many are being sold at a loss. The wholesale market at Moissac normally would receive 200 tons per day, but this week that figure has doubled. Some growers are dumping the crops and some are leaving them on the vine. We consumers can help by choosing from local growers when shopping as there are many cheap imports from Spain in the shops.
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Fruit trees are loaded this year

Our fruit trees are so heavily loaded with fruit, branches on the plum trees have broken in last nights storm. Apples, plums, figs, the latter two  which the birds are enjoying. Peaches, pears, a bumper crop this year. Bunches of grapes developing nicely. Makes me remember "harvest festivals" where we used to go to church and one took for others less fortunate what you had grown. As we did not grow fruit when I was young, my mother always sent us off to church with tins of fruit or peas!
Remember harvest festivals?

Nous sommes le jeudi vingt juillet

A bit of plum scrumping, photo taken by Jeni McMilan

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Helping the Figeac dog refuge

Hi Val. The refuge at Figeac is bursting and I wondered if you share the link below with readers in case anyone is thinking of adoption.  I met you with Rufus my adopted dog at the vide grenier earlier in the summer. Thank you Harriet

Caribbean calypso music

Grande Soirée Calypso c'est la réunion de trois groupes venus du Tarn, de l'Hérault et de la Drôme autour de la passion du Steel Drum (ou steelpan) et de sa musique colorée.

Nos répertoires variés vous feront danser et voyager, du calypso au reggae en passant par la salsa, le funk, la valse, le classique ou la pop...

Rendez vous le 20 Juillet à 20h30.

Entrée à prix libre et nécessaire (conseillé 6-8€), gratuit moins de 12ans.
Buvette et petite restauration sur place.

En extérieur dans un trés joli cadre, couvert en cas de pluie.

Lieu-dit Les Camboulasses, fléchage depuis Salvagnac (81630).
Coordonnées GPS 3.948306 1.679649

Retrouvez l'évènement sur facebook : Grande Soirée Calypso (81)

Storm alert

Meteo France has issued an orange alert for "possibly violent" storms later today. All departments of mdi-Pyrenees are involved and the alert lasts until 6am tomorrow (Thursday).
Unnecessary journeys and outdoor activities are advised against, in case of lightning strikes, flash floods, hail or falling trees etc.
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Beautiful concert, beautiful setting - tomorrow

France top nation for "soft power"

The University of South California has published its annual league table of countries whose influence in the world is due not to economic or military power, but to cultural and diplomatic influence - called "soft power". France has moved up two places to top the league, Britain retaining its second place but America dropping to third.
Researchers suggest that the "Macron effect" with a more inclusive policy was more influential than Trump's "America First" mantra. Germany and Canada complete the top five, with European nations generally progressing up the scale.
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Taxe d'habitation to be abolished?

President Macron has confirmed his plan to abolish the tax over the next three years for 80% of households. The tax is a major source of income for the communes, representing about 20% of their revenue. The government will "reimburse" the mairies "euro for euro", but most maires remain sceptical. No details of which homes will be exonerated have been announced.
The tax seems to vary widely from house to house, based on a notional letting value (hence the apparent reluctance to have more than one bathroom!) and there are exonerations for low income and elderly residents. Nor has anything been said about the TV licence (redevance audiovisuel) which is normally parcelled up with the taxe d'habitation.
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Nous sommes le mercredi dix neuf juillet

A lovely warm morning but rain and storms could be on the way.
Enjoy the morning whilst you can.
Yesterday we were at Laguepie with Afghan friends, the beach and river were packed with all ages and many nationalities. We ended the visit with a drink in our favourite bar " The Troubadour"

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Ode to Gracie

Gracie’s Wish.

Now in the hallway the bed with the blue blanket lies empty, there’s a freshly washed pink collar draining over the sink and a red bowl has been put away up on the shelf. 
The house is so quiet. 
I have died. 
Your heart is broken.
As I move further from you, and as the hurt begins to dull, please remember this. 
Keep courage in your heart, human, for my sake, because we will meet again. Somewhere, on a dusty track, or on a sodden hill above a wretched farmhouse, we will meet again. 
You won’t recognise me as one you once knew, at least not until you are brave enough to look into my eyes and then you’ll see that I am there again. There, just as I was when you first found me. There, desperate, clinging to the hope that one day you’ll come for me and take me 
Keep courage, don’t ignore me or look away, step towards me and don’t fear. 

Marian Staahl

Val says it is very sad when a pet dies especially if it is only four. Gracie ate lots of plums and the plum stones are poisonous to dogs. So very sorry Amanda and Marian

He is common

But still the common buzzard is a fine sight. Generally we see the pair wheeling above with their cat like call, but today we were honoured with a garden visit. Standing on the ground or perched on a fence post he hung around long enough for a few shots.

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Who is (ir)responsible?

Profiting from an early morning appointment in the village this morning we took the dogs for a walk by the river. They love to snuffle about and Bonny likes a dip in the cooling water. And in case of accidents we avail ourselves of the "poo-belles" and plastic bags installed by the mairie (with a supply of bags in the car in case the distributors are empty). Now not all dog owners are so responsible and dogs do leave unwelcome deposits, but some person has decided to minimise the problem by spreading poison around the trees and seats. One local dog has already suffered the effects but more worryingly so could children.
A local resident has warned pet owners and parents of the risks by attaching a notice to the trees.
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So many drownings

Every year we read of mainly children drowning in piscines and even this weekend a 17 year old drowned in a lake close to Toulouse.
Yet one in seven French people do not know how to swim which according to authorities contributes to the 500+ deaths each summer. Conversely the older the demographic of a group the less likely they are to be able to swim. In fact the over 65s make up a significant proportion of those drowned.
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Jan from liberte des anes touched by the death of a foal

Message Body

Hello everyone

Far too busy here and too hot to think about a lunch, sorry, if anyone has visitors who would like to visit the donkeys then please contact me and ill find a good time for us both, in the meantime ......

yesterday and today onwards will be exceptionally busy !  4 months ago I helped a Spanish charity by taking in their 3 donkeys.  They all arrived pretty skinny from their last foster home, so to our surprise yesterday a tiny foal was born.  We've been feeding her hourly during the day, less often last night, as she still cant get up alone. We desperately hope shell survive, I'm milking her mother and feeding her with a teat which fits really well onto a Schweppes plastic tonic bottle !  I'll try to send you photos (or look at the liberte des anes facebook page) sorry for the poor quality !  The photo of her laying down if just after a good feed.  She can walk around but only if we help her to stand, OMG! Will she survive ?   

Is there anyone local to us who could babysit her for an hour or two over the next week or so whilst I walk the dogs and do my other donkey jobs.  I don't want her to try to get up and hurt herself whilst I'm not there !

Thanks, happy summer ......

Jan xx
Val says   we have just had the sad news that even after the best treatment from a local vet the foal died as it was too premature. Jan is devastated as you can imagine. She will bounce back as she has many donkeys including the foals mother needing her attention.

Nous sommes le mardi dix huit juillet

Estabuffette will be open this week Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 8.00pm.  For the rest of the summer, the hours will be noon to 2.30pm , 6.00pm to 8.00pm, every Tuesday and Wednesday.  Sit down in our beautiful place under the trees or takeway provided.

Check the facebook page at Estabuffette for updates on locations, menu and information.

Come along and enjoy yet another reason to visit Verfeil! La Seye et Vous bar/restaurant is just around the corner and serves wonderful food as well.

Joanne Schofield

Monday, 17 July 2017

Still no water at Caylus

The contamination of drinking water at Caylus is destined to last for another ten days or more. About 1300 homes are still without a drinkable supply. The water can be consumed after boiling, but a further distribution of bottled water is expected on 21st and 24th July.
The contamination is thought to have originated from animal sewage and was first discovered when soldiers at the military camp complained of intestinal problems.
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Concert in the church Saturday 29 th

Jazz at Sautou: CANCELLED

Please note if you have booked fro Friday's Jazz at Sautou, or were just going along on the night, that it has been cancelled/postponed.
Other commitments have led to insufficient bookings to make the event viable.
On the other hand, the musicians would like to play later in the year and pay tribute to John Taylor who sang with them here at Mas del Sol and who sadly died earlier this year.
We will contact directly those who have reserved with us.
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Nous sommes le lundi dix sept juillet

What an amazing emblem, patriotes of France. I found this insignia in my photos but cannot remember where it has come from and who the "patriotes" are. Any ideas anyone?
As long as it is not something taken over by the National Front.( like the flag of England, the flag of St. George that the racist wing seems to have co opted as their own)
Happy research readers
Malc says: "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" - Dr Johnson I think, and true to form this organisation is a Front National attempt to persuade the gullible (plus other less scrupulous politicians and thinkers) that far right policies are somehow "patriotic". Launched a few years ago by Florian Phllipot, vice president (though perhaps for not much longer?) of the FN, the "network" is quite clearly an attempt to promote an on-line presence for ultra right wing views.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Good report on Entre Nous in St. Antonin

Today we met Peter and got to talking about local restaurants. He had high praise for Entre Nous in St. Antonin. We had a good christmas dinner there which was very enjoyable but we must go on a Friday to their fish and chips at lunch time, that also gets good reports. Any one else like to comment?

Great start to this new business venture

Good luck Joanne Schofield, busy start today. 
Watch out for Estabuffette.

Sunflowers and bikes

One of the official photos from yesterday of the Tour de France passing through our area.

A rare sight

You hear them when walking, you hear them when they are attacking your figs and occasionally you see one flash by in a blur of yellow and black. Golden Orioles (loriot in French) have a very distinctive voice but tend to hide away at the tops of trees.
So it was unusual to see this chap perched on a dead branch in our acacia this morning. The bird stayed just long enough to fire off this shot.
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Nous sommes le dimanche seize juillet

We had a late night last night loving the occitane traditional dance under the halle at Laguepie. Before going to the danse we went with the boys to soak up the final rays of the sun. The boys were more than delighted that a very pretty girl had decided to walk around topless. 
What a culture shock, but one I think they will be happy to get used to.
Lots happening today, all in the sun.
Enjoy your day.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Nous sommes le samedi quinze juillet

Hi Val
M Massat is to be presented with the anti LINKY petition this morning at 10:00. Those presenting the petition are assembling at the monument des mortes to go to the mairie in as large a group as possible.  We're hoping for a reporter from the Dépêche, and maybe TAG would care to cover the event?

Hope you can make it.

J xx
Val says  If you live in Varen and feel strongly that you do not want Linky imposed on you, get yourself to the assembly point this morning.