Susan’s France Photos (#1): The Bayeux Scary Guys!

It was 1993: Our honeymoon French bike trip … we pedal into the town of Bayeux in Normandy and…


We arrived in the middle of the town’s annual Medieval Festival. The streets were filled with all kinds of scary guys on stilts. And thousands of people. So Susan, who was very much into photography (especially B&W) back then, started shooting away.

And got this guy…

bayeau 2271
Photo by Susan Cunningham

Here’s what I wrote in my journal on July 3, 1993: “There were all sorts of booths and everyone was in costume and then there were all these monsters on stilts who led a big show with firecrackers, gnomes, jugglers and fire breathers. It was supposed to symbolize the battle between good and evil.”

A gnome is a diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy. Not sure when they were co-opted for gardens.

Here’s something else I wrote that day in my journal, and had completely forgotten all about: “Today we had a big fight. Susan got mad at me and then I got mad at her and things got worse. Of course, it was all my fault. It took all day, but we made up.”

I think all the Renaissance magic and alchemy helped end the fight. Not to mention the gnomes.


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