Monday, 20 April 2009

A boy named Jesus on the staff?

This is what happens when you are a devotee of your town’s web site. You go to see the plant extravaganza under the newly reopened Halle (Thursday evening witnessed by a crowd of about 3 people and a whippet) complete with plant experts giving talks.
I amble into town and this is what the Halle now looks like.

Thinking that I might be at the wrong Halle I dodged the ever present dog? turds and headed to the other Halle beside the Abbey. Nope no plant fiesta there either. There was however, this chap dressed in typical Frenchman about town garb, du moyen age. He had these two long poles with foam taped tightly to one end of each stick with brown parcel tape. I noticed him due to the clatter he made when he dropped a pole. I had arrived just as he had decided to take a break and he headed off to the nearby café. After some time (I am a patient man) he came back and started twirling his sticks. Sometimes one stick, and sometimes the more tricky two stick combo. Now this is either some kind of medieval martial art carried out by men in sandals but without white socks so not British) and the foam ends covering or replacing sharp wooden or metal points or blades, or it could be flaming torches.

Unfortunately my camera is not fast enough to take moving targets at the instant that I press the shutter so most ended up as back or side shots. At least the Abbey wall didn't move.

They do like their flaming torch processions here and I noted just this week that at some point during the summer there will be a flaming procession, followed by a display of dextrous fire twirling. This could be one of them getting some pre- lights out practice in. If the latter is the case, stand well clear as he keeps dropping his sticks. Especially dangerous are the lunges where either one at a time or both together, the sticks are thrust out from the body in a lunging motion, the grip on the sticks is released, they shoot forward and in theory are caught and held with about a foot of stick still to spare. Tricky especially as the sticks must be pretty heavy at that point and they should be deployed to the same length.

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