Summer in Languedoc. Writers take notes!

It’s SUMMER. That’s official. The tourist information offices are full of bright, coloured pamphlets and brochures with endless lists and calendars of things you can do through July and August.

Some places here were built for summer. Take Cap d’Agde. Although the history of Agde, just inland from the coast on the banks of the river Hérault, goes back to the times of ancient Greece, the resort around the marina at the Cap didn’t exist until the 1970s.

In summer we have water sports for all the family. There’s just about every water sport you could name. My new short story of the month, Aquapark Blues, is set in a water slide park. You can find it here. (This link will work until the end of July when another new short story of the month goes in.) I hope you have a few minutes to read it.

But if you don’t care to participate in water sports, there’s one you’ll love to watch: WATER JOUSTING.

summer water joust

A fine spectacle at the water joust

Water jousting takes place every summer

in Agde, Marseillan, Meze and in Hérault’s own Little Venice, Sète. When the water jousts first began in the 1600s the blue boat, manned by bachelors of the town would be set against the red boat, manned by married men. I don’t know who used to win most often in those days, but every year you are guaranteed a fun-packed show, full of thrills and spills. But don’t be fooled that this is all good, light-hearted fun. The teams may behave in a gentlemanly fashion, but the competition is deadly serious.

Watch this video from the Sète Tourist Office.

Isn’t that exciting? Don’t you just love the sights, sounds? The atmosphere? This is one of the reasons I love where I live.That’s why writers should carry a notebook. Wherever you go here, in summer you’ll find another story around the corner.

The instrument used as the barges approach one another is the hautbois. Today’s modern oboe has a similar soprano timbre. It was a good choice of instrument, together with a drum, for water jousting as the sound is clear and penetrating. It’s clearly audible over all the other noise.

water joust

serious competition

With all this excitement, how am I ever going to find time to write?

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New Vine watch Report tomorrow – PLUS news of guest contributors this month.

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