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.┬áThe 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.