Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Death and the Devil

Still struggling with physical movement, but working 'normally' on new book The Legends of Brittany. This is organised thematically with chapters on saints, Dark Age semi-historical tales, Arthurian stories, women in legend, landscape, giants and dwarves, megaliths, etc.
Currently researching death and the devil, which, in Brittany, means an amusing combination. Both Ankou (Grim Reaper) and the Devil (Red Man) are almost appealing figures until the Church sticks its oar in, puts the fear of God into life and demonises the poor old devil. The fact he's clearly working hard to punish sinners surely makes him one of the good guys?
I particularly like this photo of the Devil from the calvaire at Plougonven. It's traditional to represent the scene of the Devil tempting Jesus in statuary on this type of monument, but conventionally he wears the concealing robes of a monk - cloven hooves, claws or horns just poking out to give the game away. Here the Devil seems to be dressed as a 17th century rector, thus contemporary with the time of erection. Was there by any chance a falling out between the priest and the sculptor? Hope so.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Thanks for good wishes

OK, I'm back. Bloodied and bowed, but back. Many thanks for all the emails, and comments here (Ancestral Celt and Michael Dodds). I was confined to the house all summer, and after three months still have walking/driving problems. I have also been unable to work, so under severe financial constraints. Had to cancel my first holiday in seven years - a few days on Belle-Ile - and lost the money I'd paid: don't know which of those two facts was harder to bear!
Sadly had to scrap the Brittany islands book I had signed up to do, but have begun work on The Legends of Brittany, which will be published next year some time. I am also going to add themed walks to the Brittany Expert site - individual routes with all the background, maps, etc. for sale very cheaply in PDF form.
What I really want to do is set up a continuation of the Cornish Saints' Way in Brittany. It's a great project, and themed distance walks are more and more popular, but will anyone in Brittany tourism be the least bit interested? I very much doubt it. Last time I contacted the Finistere Departmental Tourism board about a project they refused me a meeting. The Quimper CCI haven't even bothered to reply to a request to discuss my training course for tourist professionals who want to promote Brittany to anglophones.
Let's face it, I have nothing to offer, because they are doing it all so well already. NOT.