PASTIME’S FIRST SUMMER SCHOOL 1993

At Fespesh

This was a shared event with the Southwark Waites who provided wonderful music. Juanita was the organizer as far as Pastime was concerned. Lieven was our tutor the school lasted 10 days. The dancers included Melus, Cathy Greenhill, Juanita, Colin, Peter and I and we met up at a little hotel in Villneuve-Sur -Lot where we stayed for a night or 2 before we moved to Frespech.

This was a remote fortified village, untouched since the wars with English in the 13th century. Peter and I were in the guard house which was quiet if not very comfortable. There was no shop in the village but a post office opened one day a week for a few hours.

We danced in a big room and with a good floor but a pillar. We learnt Contentessa, Austria Felice, Bella Gioioso, la Barriera and Il Furioso as well as meeting the Canaries. We did other dances too! I must say that this was the week when my dancing improved enormously. The evening air was filled with the Waites playing their sackbuts on the roof of the walls, bringing ghosts from forgotten battles and sending shivers up my spine although it was beautiful to listen to.

It is at this Pastime we were introduced to Floc, the local tipple from prunes which are grown in the area. It is very good.

At the end of the event we returned to the hotel to do one performance. We recorded the music and we have used this Southwark Waite music ever since.