- ► 2015 (61)
- Thank you For Your Voice
- Giants, Devils and Pussies
- The Ball in the Hole
- The Burning of the Underpants
- The Brotherhood of the Warm Sausage
- Pooh Pooh P'Dooh
- Graham’s trip statistics
- Nude Shocker, Flagrant Francophilia, and Dish Disa...
- "May I suggest prawns for desert?"
- Wine country
- Brocken to Wernigerode Narrow Gauge Railway
- Up the Brocken
- Wernigerode Antics
- Witches, Witches and More Witches
- Prozzies and Pagan Murderers
- Vegemite on a German breakfast table.
- A Rave in Leek??
- Tollund Man and Nightwatchmen
- ▼ August (18)
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Now Graham has been known to sing the odd ditty or two but we presume it was a case of mistaken identity. The Fluffster became a tad stressed and urged us to leave quite quickly in case he was asked to sing and disappointed an entire room of eager Folkies.
So who does Graham look like? What an amusing night.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
By 1215 we had seen:
a two headed eagle ridden by a three year old bespectacled child with a red feather in his cap;
a giant horse propelled by 16 men hidden in its skirt and ridden by 4 more three year olds this time wearing faux armour;
A number of beautifully decorated floral floats complete with people of various ages wearing costumes from different eras;
several brass bands complete with twirling baton girls;
and five more giants;
....oh and the devil and a savage were there too.
What a hoot!
In true Mr Fluffy form, he was approached by a Belgian radio presenter to do an on air interview about his thoughts on the parade. Quickly mentioning he didn't speak French, the interviewer continued in English and we presume the Fluffster has been beamed live into the radios of several Belgian households spouting forth about the fabulousness of our stay in Ath. He was very excited to learn we had come especially to see Les Geants. The people of Ath are, rightly, very proud of their tradition.
Several times during the parade we were amused to note that a kitten had an even better view of the proceedings than we did. Its owners held it at the window above the action and it stared in awe as the giants twirled around, their hair swinging out almost close enough for it to touch. It's face was a picture.
Fond memories of Ath and its wonderful Geants will stay with us. Thanks to Julia Bovey and Martin Dean who, via Facebook, alerted us to it. It was great to see you all.
Not yet having our fill of strange creatures we headed off to Ellezelles, apparently the birth place of Hercule Poirot no less. I read in the tourist brochures that this town holds a witches' sabbat every June and that there is a 'Sentiers de L'Etrange' (Strange Walk) in the area. A local folklorist and artist, Watkyne, had set up this walk many years ago and has placed strange artworks related to local folklore along the way. It was a very cool walk through some lovely countryside, dotted with a devil playing a violin and numerous other forest fairy folk. The whole town was devoted to a 'sorciere' theme with many shops sporting witches in their windows. The church even had a giant topiary witch, complete with black cat, out the front.
|Giant in the museum and me with bad hair|
|Mrs Goliath at her wedding|
|The Archer being 'attended to'.|
|Victory watched by a pussy in the window|
For the last two days we have been heading back to Calais for the ferry home on Wednesday. It's been pouring with rain but it's been nice to snuggle down in Dickie and listen to the rain pelt down on the roof. We are now at the Aire by the ferry port and watching some rather dodgy characters eyeing up the vans. Or Maybe it's just me being paranoid.
Monday, 25 August 2014
|view through a hut|
|Mr and Mrs Goliath|
|the Devil character walks in the procession|
Sunday, 24 August 2014
|at the Museum des Geants|
|prepare for the burning|
It was rather a long wait for the underpants to appear in the Esplanade. We managed to get a great spot where the aforementioned garment was carried in to the excitement of the awaiting crowd. While we waited the police were called to a contre temps between a few 14(ish) year old girls across the way which was a little amusing. It was a little disconcerting to note that the firemen all kissed each other in greeting as did the police. All these burly chaps pecking each other on the cheek was rather unusual. We could not imagine that happening in the UK. All in all it was a violence free, if a little kissy, event and the burning got underway in an orderly manner.
|'what big legs you have M Le Geant'|
I thought the pants were sponsored by the local brewery as the word 'Gouyasse' was written on them but apparently it is the Belgian word for Goliath, the main giant. It is a apparently a tradition in Belgium that the groom's underpants are burned on the night before the wedding. We returned to Dickie to prepare for the next day's event which included the marriage of Goliath and his bride, and await Graham's birthday.
|Mr Fluffy with floating giant at the museum|
Thursday, 21 August 2014
|robe et chapeau de la Confrerie D'Andouille Chaude|
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
|No poos up here|
We were expecting quite a strenuous walk this morning as the chap in the visitor's centre used the word 'uphill' quite frequently when describing it, but there were only a few small inclines and it took just over an hour. Amusement prevailed as, at one stage, we were overtaken by a little tourist train full of French tourists who exclaimed we were very brave to go 'a pieds' (on foot) in the drizzle and up these (not very) steep hills.
|le petit train|
The red squirrel population here is thriving as we saw several scampering around the trees. They have black stripes on their backs which look a bit weird.
|Dickie in Landrecies|
We've been looking up a bit of history of the place we stumbled upon to stay tonight. Landrecies was the site of a major battle on 25th August 1914 and there is a British cemetery here which we will visit tomorrow. There are several monuments commemorating the war in the town, the church took a direct hit by a bomb, and on a lighter note they've placed a lovely aire by the canal. I just read something on the internet that said this town is where the horse that influenced the writing of WarHorse came from....how interesting.
Monday, 18 August 2014
Sunday, 17 August 2014
Can you imagine the shock on the face of those in the van next to us when I opened our bathroom door (directly opposite our back door) after a lovely warm shower only to find Mr Fluffy had left our back door wide open to display my nudity to the great unwashed. My face showed equal mortification but, determined to get Mr F back for his faux pas, I opened the toilet hatch so that he could be swathed in the aromas of the SOG unit as he ferreted in the satellite drawer. Ha!
|Le Meuse at Montherme|
|wooden window treatment|
Further along the Ardennes tomorrow.
Friday, 15 August 2014
|view from the casements|
|fuzzy tunnel action|
Today was spent lying in as it was pouring with rain until late. Mr Fluffy had left one of our hatches open as it was a little warm, despite the massive rainfall, so my shoes were full of water. The camp site is a little out of town so I got the bus while Mr F walked the hour into the centre. It's a public holiday today, Friday, so most of the shops were closed - annoyingly.
|Black Madonna of Luxembourg City|
Luxembourg has a series of ancient tunnels called Casements which we walked through on our way to the old town and the St John's church which houses a beautiful 14th century Black Madonna. She is rather fabulous! After a disappointing panini at Scott's Pub by the river we continued our walk around the city and are now back in Dickie awaiting the next downpour.
|disappointing panini but nice view|
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
|loving the flowers|
|Mosel Valley rush hour|
|Mr Soggy at the Ponta Nigra|
Ugggh! We are now in Trier and it is totally pouring! I don't know if it is the weather but we're not loving it here. It is very interesting as it is in ancient Roman town with some very intriguing churches and maybe if the rain stopped it would be nicer. The woman in the Tourist office was 'lovely' - on asking her a question she replied with 'WHAT?'
The stellplatz has the most confusing instructions in the world - the minuscule info on how to enter and pay for the site is around 100 metres from the entrance where it would, perhaps, have been more useful.
Sunday, 10 August 2014
|is that a witch I see flying there?|
|stone on the Brocken|
|inappropriate outfit to climb a mountain|
|A bit bedraggled|
Saturday, 9 August 2014
|amusing pottery pussy from the schloss|
We walked through the forest around the schloss and came across a small zoo which we could freely walk around. The cutest were the little tiny wild boar children who came out as a blur on my camera as they were whizzing around the yard merrily. Second cutest were the deer and racoons. We noticed at the end that this was next to a schusenhaus (hunting house) so we are hoping they were not being bred for a spot of schusen (although we did eat 'meat of a stag' for dinner last night at Ins kleine Paradis).
|what's up dick?|
|loving the foot draped over the edge|
Thursday, 7 August 2014
|a hint of witchy overload|
|crushed velvet clad wiccan priestess in medieval wisewoman's tableau|
|a divination scene|
Tuesday, 5 August 2014