These mummers may be powerbocking but they hark back to a pre-Christian tradition, and some of them are genuinely scary.
Serious bagpipe alert!
(The percussionist is 'doing a plastic' instrumentally, and the bagpiper on the right has the nattiest facial hair, which unfortunately you can't really see in this photo.)some visitors who don't think it is value for money at €9 a head (a combined ticket that gets you full access to the Donjon and the Logis Royal). The ticket booths are set up at the gates of both buildings and you get a stamp which you then just wave at the person on the gate at the other location.
Luckily for us, the guys at the entrance recognised me and the four of us got in for €5 a head, which I thought was perfectly good value. Once in we decided to opt for the medieval fare for lunch and had tranchoirs (basically open sandwiches with cured meat, slabs of cheese, gherkins, sultanas and nuts). We passed on hypocras or the various fairy or hobbit elixirs, and just went for beer though. Later we went for cocktails at Le Caravage, which were, as usual, superb and extremely good value whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
Guards at the Porte Royale, the only entrance to the citadel of Loches. These guys come from the re-enactment group Medio evo.Costume Society, I am fairly beady when it comes to spotting the anachronisms and anyone 'doing a plastic' (as the English re-enactors call it). I was most impressed by the quality of the costumes here and the way they were worn. Where manmade textiles had been used, they had been chosen carefully so they had the right weight and fall. There were a few modern touches, but of the sort that can be forgiven if they are done discreetly (modern prescription spectacles, kids in modern shoes, spring-loaded stilts). Most of the costumes had been at least partially machine stitched, but when it really mattered they were hand stitched, and everyone accessorised carefully, with some excellent belts, purses, weapons, head gear and foot wear. All the costumed characters were only too pleased to chat about their roles and be photographed. They were also fantastic at involving kids in the crowd in the performance and generally entertaining whilst staying in character.
We had a great time (except for periodically having to dodge the bagpipes...)
A la cuisine hier: Stuffed Mushrooms and roasted vegetables. Shirley Conran is a woman of great common sense, but she is wrong about mushrooms.
Gooseberry Crumble. I keep a jar of crumble mix in the fridge so I can whip up a fruit dessert in no time. Jean's gooseberries were a real treat. I had forgotten what a distinctive flavour they have. Served with proper homemade custard of course. I'll be able to make fool with the rest today, but I have to wait until the laitière delivers some cream at lunchtime.