The author and her sword Durendal in 2012
35 year old French expat, I have spent some years travelling to the corners of Europe since I was 21, but settled in old Albion, my holy land.
I studied History of Arts, Literature and old French language with some insight into the 12th-13th Century literary accounts and history. I am particularly interested in the archaeology of weaponry through all ages. I have a little something for the Knights Templar, and the Iron Age. I participated in re-enactments events in Europe in the past. I have researched and later learned the basics of fighting with the long sword, with some knowledge of French medieval cooking and medieval clothing & sewing. A firm believer of continuous learning and education, I have then switched from re-enactment fun & medieval sword fighting to the more respected areas of historical research and archaeology (because mainly I needed to keep my fingers unbroken for work ethics and health reasons, I was getting too old and was labelled too girly to play warfare in the re-enactment fields. Cooking cabbage or posing in a dress embroidering for the public is not a satisfying re-enactment activity in the long run, when you have such a fascination for blades).
My love affair with London and the Thames lead me to follow a short introductory course about the *Londoners and their daily life in medieval times* at Birbeck University in 2010. It was the opportunity for me to research on the topic of jousting and tournament sites in the London area.
Attending talks and seminars on different historical subjects in London, I heard about the fantastic work of the Thames Discovery Programme at the LAMAS conference, the necessity to monitor and record the foreshore archaeological features and managed to join in as a FROG volunteer in 2010.
I then developed a very pathologic need for wearing wellies and having my fair share of mud on a weekly or monthly basis. I met many fascinating people on the foreshore and shared stories with locals, photographers, historians, mudlarks …I was also lucky enough to meet a few experts and specialists during workshop sessions & talks about clay pipes, pottery, medieval tiles etc.
My most-visited spots to date on the Thames are Wapping, Putney, Bankside, and the non-tidal Thames in Oxfordshire. I hope to visit more of the Thames magic landscapes in 2014, a trip to the Cotswolds and a pilgrimage to the sacred Thames source.
Having recently spent some time in Oxford( as a sort of retreat from the London madness), I have recently extended my activities to Finds sorting/processing and participated for the first time in local test pits analysis and a local dig. Of course I am no expert or academic, still learning every day, and I am thankful for these community projects to exist and welcome anyone on board.
The author on the Tower of London foreshore in 2011 during a TDP fieldwork trip