Ok I've hit a brick wall it would seem.
The issue is a very simple one, Cocoon wont accept Louise's non-valid html at all. I've defined a pipeline using jtidy which is the java version of html tidy, so the html from this source should be cleaned up before its used in a xsl transformation.
This isnt happening at all, and in the end i'm getting this instead. You can clearly see the title which is valid xhtml, but as soon as it hits anything non valid it throws a 500 servelet exception.
I have two paths forward, manually rewrite louises html into a file I can use or talk to louise about writing things in standard xhtml. The last one is the most difficult, because looking at her site, its all written using the same template. I dont want to add work to louise because this should be do-able with cocoon.
Oh heres the link for the clean one I'm working on.