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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Just for Monsieur Poirot!

Imagine the scene, Monsieur Poirot boarding the Orient Express and in his luggage was the above case all ready for his moustache preparation that evening.
This was my greatest find at the Brocante at La Rogue-Geanac this morning a Vintage and rare but sadly empty kit by Marcel Rochas. Which originally held three bottles containing cologne for Monsieur.

“Anytime you slip on a sleeveless bustier or slide your hands into your skirt pockets, send a silent thanks to the late fashion designer Marcel Rochas”, (Sophie Rochas 2015).

In the ‘40s and ‘50s, Rochas pioneered such silhouettes and helped define that “je ne sais quoi” of French glamour. During his 30-year career, which began with perfume, Rochas dressed the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich and Mae West.
 

“Hold me back”, I found another linen stall.
 

The morning shadows are getting longer but it is still a gorgeous view any time of the year.
 

Paul jokingly asked the stone mason if he started with a large block and it got reduced to the items at the front of the stall. A hearty laugh was the response.
 

I loved this vintage cart. You can imagine it full of gorgeous flowers.
 

Browsing complete, in need of a treat… hot chocolate with cream.
 

Here is my version of a moustache, delicious.

 

 

I Need a White Knight Upon a Mighty Steed!

The beautiful hilltop village of Belves turned back the calender yesterday and presented their Fête Médiévale and it was amazing. Shop owners wore Medieval costumes, musical entertainment in the streets, craft exhibitions, demonstrations of medieval combat, and the incredible mystical woodland sprites. All contributed in making Sunday an incredibly enjoyable day for us and the hundreds of other people that flocked to Belves.

I found my white knight all I need now is a mighty steed!
 

Stunning costume by the Desmodium players.

While the males were mischievous, the female had a pocket full of happiness that she would sprinkle onto the crowds.

The male sprite on the right is teasing people looking out of their window.

 
All of the performance was completed on stilts, up hill and down, they danced around the streets of Belves.

I could have watched them all day, magnificent.
 

The Medieval combat display with sword, knife, axe, spear and club.
Everyone from children to adults were shouting for their favourite to win.

Wow, brilliant combat in extreme heat nearly 40C. It gave you a taste of how brutal Medieval life was.
 

Soukha, music and dance with jugglers and aerial acrobat.
 

Love the detail of the Medieval peasant costume.
 
 

Event:- Daglan Fête this coming weekend.
Not too be missed is the parade on Sunday afternoon and the fireworks in the evening.

 
 

St Cyprien Félibrée 2018

Félibrée is a traditional Occitan Festival which takes place every year in a town or village in the Perigord. The festival has been running since 1903 and takes place over three days and involves a range of traditional events. This year it is the turn of St Cyprien to host the 99th Félibrée.

Over the last few months a great deal of planning, arranging and decorating has taken place in order to create the wonderful decorations which adorn the streets, squares and alleyways in St Cyprien. 300,000 flowers, poppies, sunflowers, wisteria and crosses have been made from paper and plastic.

This Gorgeous arcade of paper wisteria is my favourite.

 

An Occitan cross.

 

Cameras at the ready everyone, the traditional dancing is about to take place.

 

Hundreds of children from every age group from different villages came together for the dancing and the celebrations yesterday afternoon.
This group wore the traditional Occitan cross.

 

A stage had been erected in the main car park where the bands vocalist told the children the dance moves before the start of every dance, for example ‘go to the right, two to the left, to the back, then forward, turn and clap’.

 

Children in traditional French costume looked amazing under the canopy of flowers.

 

So cute this group of children were among the youngest dancers enjoying the celebrations.

 

There are lots of stalls set up along the main streets, squares, car parks and side streets. Selling hand crafted jewellery, clothes, lace, linen, wooden toys, food etc.

 
 

Events:-

Félibrée 2018, Saint Cyprien, 29th June to 1st July.

Candlelight night at Les Jardins de Marqueyssac every Thursday night from the 5th July.

National Day in France.14th July Fire work displays in every village, town and cities throughout France.
 
 

Craft and Social Sessions in Daglan Village

If you fancy making something new or bringing whatever you are making to the craft and social sessions it would be great to meet you. It is a good opportunity to meet the ladies of Daglan village for a chat, watch a demonstration by one of the ladies or like me to try to improve my French speaking skills while working on my embroidery.

Every Wednesday afternoon 2-4, in the craft room at the Salle des Fêtes, all are welcome.

There is an excellent sewing machine, fabrics, wool, cotton etc. that people can use.
 

Two expert knitters.
 

Coffee or tea with delicious home made gateau or biscuits every week.
 

I love the expertly crocheted snow flakes.
 

A gorgeous sweater at the front and cute Noël decorations at the back of the table.
 
 

It’s the time of year for two of my favorite events :-

Festival of Chocolate in Sarlat, I can not wait.
 

Also the Daglan Spring Fete Flowers Festival 18th March, wonderful, we shall be there.