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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What? No men in high heels!

Le Fête de la Saint-Louis is a Fantastic Carnival weekend held at the end of August each year in Daglan. It transforms the the usually quiet village of Daglan into a four day Festival. The highlight of which is always the parade on a Sunday afternoon. The costumes and floats are amazing.

I must tell you a little story of what happened a few years ago when the theme of the parade was Carnival. The Familia decided to make the most fantastic float with men and ladies costumes for which they needed high heel shoes but found they were rather expensive in France. So one of the family members was sent over to England to buy the shoes. Once inside the store the person had to try on the shoes! Which was funny to the bemused crowd of onlookers and a little embarrassing for the person and for the store assistant who insisted “they suit you sir”. Having posted the shoes to Daglan he was informed that more shoes were needed. This time he went to the store just before closing time to avoid onlookers. All well and good until his return flight when he had to explain to a customs officer about the contents of his luggage.

No high heels needed this year, the theme was Video Games.

Los Amigos lead the parade through the streets of Daglan.
 

Look I am so strong I can stop the parade with one littler finger.
 

The best floats of the parade were Street Fighterand The Ninja Turtles of the Daglan Mairie.
 

Looking awesome.
 

Super Mario.
 

Impromptu concert in the street.
 

Magnificent guys but you do need to sort out your bra.
 

Cheers Richard and Rosemary enjoying a drink at la Cantine after the parade yesterday.
 

 

Event:- this evening at nine o’clock the village is holding a Bal Musette with music by Los Amigos, entrance is free.
 
 

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.

 
 

La Goutte Noire.

Sophie Arnaud is the amazing artisan who creates the most gorgeous and original jewellery. From delicate silver necklaces, matching ear rings, bracelets, to a collection of bead work jewellery, ideal if you are looking for your favourite colour or your birthstone.

Do you think that it is too early to plan for a Christmas present?
 

The difficult decision upon entering the shop is which one or two pieces do I like the most.
 

Such a large selection to choose from.
 

The artisan at work. “My dream is to buy everything Sophie”.
 

Also, do not forget to look the baby gifts which are found on the right and rear of the shop.
 

All original, expertly made and so cute.
 

La Goutte Noire is to be found in the Presbytery on Rue de la Republique in Daglan.

http://www.lagouttenoire.com/
 
 

Daglan Events:-

13th July celebrations of food, dancing and fireworks in Daglan.
To celebrate the 14th July there will be fireworks throughout France in every city, town and village. Don’t forget that that the 14th July is the National Holiday so shops may be closed all day or part of the day.

29th July Fête de la Gastronomie, in Daglan all day.

17th to the 20th August Fête de la St Louis in Daglan.

Every Sunday until the end of August, truffle market.

Now until 8th August Art’Céou expo at the Salle Des Fetes
 
 

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.