Sunday, August 12, 2007
The Day Before Our BIG DAY
Au Fil du Temps....the passage of time. If you walk the streets of Leran this weekend, you might think you had entered The Twilight Zone, and that the dramatic voice blaring over the loudspeakers was the French counterpart to Rod Serling himself.
Shields adorned the London plane trees on Cours St. Jacques, and banners of flags hung high overhead. The street was converted to pedestrian mall for the marche artisanals setting up their booths. The vendors donned their favorite medieval costumery for the event. Pottery, tea towels, hand-painted roof tiles, bobbing magnets, candy, soaps and candles, just a few of the ways to spend money. Even an organ grinder and monkey were part of the festivities. Doug thought he might like a pony ride, but there were height and weight restrictions.
Even La Poste had a booth selling Ariege CD's and photo envelopes. Sylvie, in the green dress, is our most helpful postmistress at La Poste.
A performing dance and musical troupe has kept everyone entertained for two days now, juggling, bellydancing, playing medieval instruments and general humorous interactions. I didn't recognize any of them, so am assuming that they are on a scheduled circuit of medieval fairs.
The first of two defiles (processions) through Leran was Saturday at 3:30, so we all gathered outside the Chateau gate and received our instructions. We were to look "noble", and of course no glasses or wristwatches. Keep a stately distance between couples. In addition to the cast and crew of the Spectacular, other villagers from Leran and no doubt the surrounding area also arrived in one of their many medieval outfits and joined in.
The procession started late---we can only assume this since we didn't have our watches, but that's what people said afterwards. We processed in and around Leran in a rather convoluted route, taking a brief interlude at one point for a water break. This mandatory interruption totally discombobulated the integrity of the processional, and we had to regroup before continuing. Spectators cheered us on, cameras clicked, but the medieval nobles maintained their composure.