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1st July 2021 - 31st July 2021


Hello Everyone

Success!  I have finally found out the name of the bird which has been following me around in the woods for many months.  He whistles, well it’s a sort of trill really.  I hear it but by the time I’ve got my phone out of my pocket, opened the app and pointed it the right way up and in the right direction, this Golden Oriole has taken flight.

I’ll have to take my app’s word for the « golden » part because I still haven’t seen him.  It tells me that this bird is Eurasian and he spends the winter in central and southern Africa.  Their migration habits are extraordinary and during this time of travel limitations, we can only jealously marvel at anything that can travel so widely, unmasked, untested, uncertificated and completely unaffected by the machinations of governments.

I mentioned last month that we would like to hear from anyone interested in participating in an Active Listener Training Day. CSF Sud has decided to hold one or two Information Days in or around late September.  These informal meetings will take the form of a morning and an afternoon session.

In the morning we will talk about CSF – history, aims, how it supports etc. Then a bring and share lunch. In the afternoon there will be an Introduction to Active Listening for those who would like more detailed information about the role of an Active Listener.

You don’t have to be a CSF member.  This is a good opportunity for everyone to discover more about CSF and the support we give to English-speaking people in France who are touched by cancer and to find out how you can be involved.

Please contact Maggie (sud-maggie@cancersupportfrance.org) if you would like to join us.  You can stay for the whole day or just for the morning session and of course all are welcome to bring and share lunch.

Below is the latest Touchlines quarterly newsletter which gives you an idea of what goes on nationally as well as locally. Click to open.

csf newsletter

Drop ins

The Drop Ins are back in full swing.  Please remember to wear a mask and observe social distancing.  They will be held outside, weather permitting.

Wednesday 7 July                Pablo’s Bar – Céret                          10.30  

Do come along to Pablo’s.  They are happy to have us sitting outside at tables which is great news.   We look forwarding to seeing you.

Monday 19 July  –    Laroque    –    10.30-12    

The Café des Artistes is a great venue for meeting up.  There will be masses of books of course so bring your own paperbacks for exchange.  You can buy a coffee and take two books.  Come for a chat, meet friends or bring family.

Wednesday 21 July  – Villa Lafabrègue Prades  –  10.15-12

Please come and join us outside in the garden for coffee, tea and books.  Please note, we start at 10.15.  The address is 15 Avenue Louis Prat, 66500 Prades.

Looking ahead

Thursday 2nd Sept – Sunday 5th Sept   Cycle for Life  2021 – Carbonne to Fronsac

This year’s Cycle for Life will see us travelling from Carbonne 31390 to Fronsac 31199 in the South West of France and this year we are including a walk as well as a bike ride.

The bike ride (otherwise known as the Garonne Challenge) will follow the Parcours Cyclable de la Garonne for virtually it’s full length, from glimpses of the Pyrenees at Carbonne to ending up right in the mountains alongside the river at Fronsac, not very far from the Spanish border.

The Saturday cycle event is a circular tour taking in the lovely Neste Valley with our lunch stop (along with the walkers) being nestled below the UNESCO World Heritage site of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges (known locally as the Mont St Michel of the south).

The walkers have the opportunity of a circular tour starting and finishing at Valcabrère with its superb mosaics and visiting the historic and magnificent cathedral and town at Saint-   Bertrand-de-Comminges.

Our Friday and Saturday night accommodation is at Montréjeau overlooking a lake and with the mountains behind.  We have reserved 9 lovely wooden 2-bedroomed chalets on a ‘first come, first reserved’ basis.

On the Saturday late afternoon we are hoping to give those who want to the opportunity of visiting the caves at the Grottes de Gargas before organising a group meal at Le Paleo restaurant alongside.

There is something for everyone, from shorter flat cycle rides, to longer day rides, to the picturesque walk.

If you would like to register for the cycle ride and raise some money for a fantastic cause or volunteer to help us organise and man the event, please contact Sasha Hendersen admin@cancersupportfrance.org 

You can also check out the Facebook page

If you have already registered, you can start fundraising by going to www.alvarum.com/charity/2039/challenge/2226.

Thursday 9 September                 Walk for Life                      Prat de la Fargue – Maureillas

Our own Activity for Life event is the Walk for Life.

As every year, we have two walks planned.  The longer one, of 8 kms, takes around 2.5 hours and climbs above Maureillas with some lovely views.  The shorter one, around 1.5 hours, follows a similar route to previous years, again with lovely views, and is essentially flat.

There will be petanque for those who wish for something less energetic.    At the moment, we cannot safely predict the Covid rules which will be in operation, but we anticipate that coffee will be available from 9am and cakes and savouries for lunch to supplement your picnics.  And, of course, wine, beer and soft drinks.

There will be pre-loved books and CSF goods for sale as well as a lucky-dip stall.  We are very lucky to again have 2 Partout providing the music over lunch.

We appreciate that many of you will be wishing to visit friends and family as soon as travel is possible and planning ahead is hard.  However, do save the date now and join us for this very enjoyable event if you can.

If you would like to participate in one of the sponsored walks, it’s never too early to contact Penny Parkinson (sud-penny@cancersupportfrance.org)

Wednesday 13 October CSF Sud  –  Autumn Open Meeting – Perpignan

Our Open Meeting is held at Le Mas des Arcardes Hotel in Perpignan in the area called Porte d’Espagne.  We weren’t able to have our meeting last year so we are hoping that this year it can go ahead.

We start with coffee, then a brief update on all the CSF news, followed by a talk from an invited speaker.  This year we will have with us Charles Van Oudenhove who is a doctor in the Palliative Care Mobile team in Perpignan Hospital where he has been working for the last twenty years.  He and his team go wherever they are called in the Pyrénées Orientales – hospitals, clinics, retirement homes or to people’s homes – helping doctors and nurses give the best palliative care possible.

The meeting will finish with a three-course lunch.

I know it’s difficult to plan ahead at the moment but please do pencil this date in your diaries.  I’m sure all the appropriate rules will be in place at the hotel and if by that time restrictions have been eased, it will be a great opportunity to meet up once again with our friends.

Please remember that if anyone is struggling or needing help, the CSF telephone and email helplines are always open.   We are there for everyone needing assistance at this time as well as for those affected by cancer. There is also lots of information on our website.

Diana Eastaff


1st July 2021
31st July 2021
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