Tag Archives: Tarn

Every Château Tells a Story #16: le Château de Saint-Michel de Vax

What a boon the internet can be – in small doses. And we’ve had only a small dose of it recently. More about that in a later post. I can find out almost anything, without moving from my computer in … Continue reading

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Vaour and the Templars

  Situated on the edge of the former royal Forêt de Grésigne, the town of Vaour conveys a strong sense of history. This is not surprising, since traces of Neolithic tombs and later occupation can be found in the forest. … Continue reading

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Every Château Tells a Story: #9 Le Château de Mayragues

Time for another château. This time it’s one that has been brought back from oblivion by its current owners and in my view is an absolute gem. Le Château de Mayragues is not in our immediate neighbourhood; in fact, it’s … Continue reading

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Singing at Puycelsi

Last weekend, we took part in one of our favourite events of the year: two days of rehearsals followed by a choral concert at the hilltop village of Puycelsi in the Tarn. This was the ninth year that these concerts … Continue reading

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Thunder and Lightning at Puycelsi

  We have adopted Puycelsi in the Tarn, since we go there to sing at least once a year in a temporary choir that comes together for a weekend or less. This delightful – and apparently impregnable – hilltop village … Continue reading

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Things to Do in Southwest France 2015

  We’ve lived here since 1997, but many things remain that we haven’t seen or done. As I have often remarked, once you get settled in a place, daily life tends to take over and you are no longer a … Continue reading

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Weather for Walks: October 2014 Weather in SW France

  We took advantage of the continuing spell of glorious weather last weekend to do one of our favourite walks, along part of the Viaur Valley. I mentioned this in my previous post. It’s a walk that’s best done on … Continue reading

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Trip Along the River Aveyron

I went to the hilltop village of Puycelsi in the Tarn département on Friday to interview some victims for one of my magazine articles. It’s about 50 minutes’ drive from here but the route is one of the most spectacular … Continue reading

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Open-air Concerts at the Château de Mayragues

One of the pleasures of summer life in SW France is the range of events that take place outdoors (weather permitting, of course). For almost the whole of July so far the weather has permitted and, having been starved of … Continue reading

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Walking the Viaur Valley

  After a weekend of cold winds and low temperatures – I was picking walnuts wearing a woolly hat and a jacket on Sunday – the weather turned again on Monday. A cloudless blue sky and temperatures in the mid-20s … Continue reading

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Rainy Day in Albi

It’s not supposed to rain in southwest France in the summer. The odd thunderstorm is acceptable but when the weather is persistently dreary for 10 days you feel cheated. Our visitors from Sweden must have felt especially cheated when they … Continue reading

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Pastel Night in Albi

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (potential French presidential candidate) is currently taking up the news, but life goes on whatever he has or hasn’t done. So it’s without apologies that I continue to chronicle our life in southwest France, despite the political reverberations that … Continue reading

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Asking for the moon: finding our house in France, part 4

  We had already seen La Lune, our present house, after a couple of days and following our encounters with Uncle Fester and assorted fauna of southwest France (notably snakes and fleas). However, we were committed to spending a further … Continue reading

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Asking for the moon: finding our house in France, part 3

During our property-hunting visit to southwest France, it was rapidly becoming apparent that what looked perfect on paper was invariably flawed in reality. In part 2 (see also part 1), we spent the first of two days with an English … Continue reading

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Asking for the moon: finding our house in France, part 2

  Before you ask, this isn’t our house. At the end of Part 1, we were arriving at Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val to spend a couple of days visiting properties with an English estate agent. He ran a gîte at his house a … Continue reading

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Asking for the moon: finding our house in France, part 1

‘Don’t let’s ask for the moon; we already have the stars.’ This is the final line in the film ‘Now, Voyager’ with Claude Rains (born in Camberwell but often played Frenchmen) and Bette Davis. I always think of it when … Continue reading

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A delightful château and memorable concerts

  Sorry for the short notice, but if you like classical music and are anywhere around Gaillac in the Tarn Département on Tuesday 6th July, then book now for an oboe and harp recital at the magical Château de Mayragues, near … Continue reading

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French seasonal treats: répountsous (asparagus alternative)

Strangely bent figures can be seen at this time of year patrolling the grass verges, heads bowed in concentration, oblivious to the juggernauts thundering past. What are they doing?

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