Escape…

There are so many things I could say to someone who asks, ‘Why France?’ There is a lot to enjoy here. There are a number of similarities that give the place a feeling of familiarity, while the differences can be far more subtle than one imagines. Last weekend we visited a pub, run by les Anglais, with a bar and a pool table, live music, a roaring fire and a broad mix of French and English clientele. We played pool. I still have a good eye for it it seems. At the Carrefour supermarket I found a cider too, one that came from a place that sounds a lot like Cornwall. I am told that to the French, Brittany is part of the British Isles, which means they see little difference between the Western Bretons and the Western Britons. Indeed, if you have Cornish then the Breton Dialect will come easier to you than schooldays French, so they say…

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Practicing our dialects is much easier after one or two glasses of fizz…

On further (sober) investigation it seems the links run incredibly deep with the region from Cap Sizun-Pointe du Raz in the West to the Pays de Quimperle known as the Cornouaille (Cornwall) of the Three Bays. Cornish Princes arrived in the area from early in the Fifth Century as the Romans were gradually scaling back their empire. Eventually their royal houses would furnish Brettonnais Kings who would battle the Loire Vikings and perhaps even inspire early versions of the Morte D’Arthur? This looks like a rich seam of culture to explore. The two Cornwalls and their linked histories and destinies from pre-medieval to the present day. I have just begun to look at this and already I can see similarities in place names, emblems, flags and language. The Cornish ‘Kernow’ looks very similar to the Breton ‘Kernev’.

I have retrieved my copy of Chretien de Troyes Morte D’Arthur in my enthusiasm…

Celine thinks the Kellow part of our surname would fit that part of France well. We have found a Kellow Farm near Polperro on a previous adventure, so now we have a future adventure in the planning stages.

Here’s a game to play! Pennengoat — France or England? Keriffen? Bissoe? Chyandour? Landrevet? Trobay? St Enoder? Answers on a postcard!

 

 

 

About 14thcenturypoet

Author of Mandorlinfiore, an historical fantasy based on traditional Italian folk tales...
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