The Dark Knight from the Tower of London.

We had a brilliant afternoon last Saturday at Château de Castelnaud where a Medieval Heritage Weekend was being hosted.

There were artisans who make swords and armour, demonstrations of various techniques and moves in sword fighting and the why and when you would perform the moves in medieval combat. With the highlight being James Hester and Stephen Pasker Shellenbean giving their extremely interesting talks and demonstrations of sword fighting from the 13th and 14th Century.

James and Stephen are historical experts in Medieval combat. James was curator of Tower Collections at the Tower of London no less. Both of the men gave talks and demonstrations in English and it was translated into French.

James Hester the Dark knight.
 

Waiting to start the tournament.
 

Stephen and James demonstrating how to win against a larger and stronger opponent.
 

James stated that the swords were extremely light and that every part of the sword could be used in hand to hand combat. Unlike those epic tournaments depicted in movies a typical fight would only last three or four strokes of the blade. While Stephan talked about the education of the Medieval Knight which consisted of geography, sciences, Latin, mathematics and music. For example, mathematics for judging how near the opponent is to you, their arm span, height and weight. Music for timing and movement, so that you strike at the key moment and move quickly out of the way. But first a knight was taught wresting from a young age, which helped to build muscle and agility so that they could use the skills in the practice of sword combat.

The tournament begins with a challenge from Kevin. The score was calculated by how many strokes made contact with the opponent.
 

A presentation of civil fencing in the 12th to 14th centuries by Olivier Gourdon and Franck Cinato.
 

An artisan describing his work producing amazing custom made armour. You could have a complete set made and be armoured head to toe in only two months for a suit of plain armour, somewhat longer if a pattern was introduced.
 

Amazing work.
 

I have always pictured myself as the next Arogorn or Legolas from the Lord of the Rings. Well a girl can dream. This sword was perfect, so light allowing me to give a good swing, it was excellently balanced.
 
 

Event:- Daglan this Saturday evening at 7 o’clock – Soiree Cabaret with Paris-Londres at the Salle Des Fêtes. With an aperitif and nibbles. Ten euro per adult and three euro for children.

 
 

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“The Envy Of The Whole World”.

This is how President Emmanuel Macron described the French baguette earlier this year when he backed calls to have it listed as a UNESCO cultural treasure.

Intrigued and delighted by this, I just had to find out more information about the baguette, why that shape, how did it become so popular in every corner of France, in short what is the history of the tradition French Baguette.

Delicious.

 

Starting around the 14th and 15th century people had to use a Communal oven to bake their bread, which was mostly round in shape. However, even though they were called Communal they did not belong to the Community. The oven was the property of the local Lord or the Church who would charge the surfs for baking their bread. Following the French Revolution, the ovens became the property of the village; no more fees.

 

Once a week the oven was fired up and the locals would carry the dough they had prepared at home to the oven. Each family would mark the top of the bread with a distinctive cut to distinguish their bread from the other families.

 

The ash created during the baking was collected, mixed with water and used for the laundry.

Baguette’s really took off in the 1920’s after a new law prevented workers starting work before 4am. In older to get the bread baked in time for breakfast, bakers started to make long, thin ‘wand”s of bread. Although the dough at that time was still made at home and then taken to the Boulangerie to bake.

 

Bread oven’s can be seen all over France in the Boulangerie, or in the centre of the village, in the grounds of a property or in the property itself.

So if you are looking for a new home …

 
 

Event:-Le château de Castlenaud celebrates the European Heritage Weekend on the 15th and 16th September with a Medieval Fencing Tournament.
 
 

Dominique ALLAËRT

The Exhibition of watercolour and oil paintings capture the true beauty of the Perigord. This is a man of extreme talent, his perception, colour and artistic genius is truly unique. I have picked just four of his many paintings for this blog but to be honest I love them all. You can see more of his work at his website Art par Dominique ALLAËRT.

The exhibition is open until the 18 August on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 14:00-18:30 and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:30 at the Ancien Presbytère in Daglan.

Due to the composition and “the artistic eye”, each one has amazing detail that draws you into the scene so that you see something different each time that you look.

The gorgeous combination of colours captures the ancient stonework of Monpazier.
 

Dominique setting up his work for the exhibition.
You can buy different sizes, framed or unframed at a variety of prices.
 

You need to see this painting in order to experience the full depth. Different textures create a 3D effect which draws you deep into the forest.
 

I could just sit by the river dangling my feet into the water on a hot Summers day.
 

In midwinter the lone tree stands in the snow, once again superb depth and the colours are amazing.

 
 

Dominique very kindly asked if I would like to show two or three pieces of my own work in his exhibition. I picked two which are in the second room of the exhibition. I will be exhibiting my work from the middle of July to the middle of August next year in the Ancien Presbytère. it will be the first exhibition of my embroidery work so I am a little nervous already.


Une cabane en pierre sèche – A dry stone hut.
 

Dame médiévale dans son jardin – Medieval lady in her garden.
 
 

Come along, take a look and buy a few of the works of art to remind you of the Perigord.
 
 

Food, Food, Glorious Food.

Everything on sale was to delight the senses at the Promenade en Gastronomie in Daglan village yesterday. From truffles, gateau, saucisson, escargots, to vegetables, fruit, candies and of course cheese and wine to name just a few of the delicacies on offer.

The View from our balcony.
 

I had to buy my Sunday treat of strawberries which are picked that morning by a local grower.
 

One simply cannot have enough garlic. I love the little dishes for garlic, oil and herbs.
 

One of the wine sellers with a sign that I totally agree with.
 

Once again we were unable to use our front door for the chicken and paella seller. The aroma drove the cats wild. We had to keep them away from the balcony in case they pulled in one of the chickens!
 

A gorgeous smile from Corrine selling various fresh baked breads and petite gateaux in front of the Boulangerie.
 

Always a teat to watch, the truffle dog who needed a little encouragement in the form of cheese snacks to find the truffles. I think citing the truffle hunting area next to the sausage stall could have something to do with the dogs inattention to his task.
 

 

Next Blog;-Dominique Allaert who is exhibiting his oil and watercolours in the Ancient Presbytere, plus a couple of interesting embroidery works.
 
 

There and back again.

Our regular Sunday morning consists of a trip to St Cyprien market with a stop in
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle for a picnic breakfast on the banks of the River Dordogne.

Last Sunday morning the Montgolfier’s were out in force, rising like smoke over the hills.

It must be such a brilliant view across the Ceou valley from the balloons. But not for me, I’m too afraid of heights to open my eyes and admire the vista of the country side below.
 

Arriving in the car park we noticed a new sculpture being worked.
 

Can just see the dog at its masters feet in front of the figure being sculpted.
 

The Summer bunting provides a little shade.
Spots everywhere, there are over 300,000 of these rosettes covering the streets of St Cyprien.
 

On our return I could not resist a sunflower picture.
The brilliant yellow always reminds me of watching the Tour de France on TV when I lived in England.
 
 

Enjoy the sunshine.

Next blog, the Grand Gastronomie market which will be in Daglan this Sunday.