Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Waxy Breack .
The night of the annual village meeting . A guest speaker from Bordeaux. A talk about the effects of the recent drought on garlic production . Due to start at seven . We wait until seven fifteen and walk across the green with Wilf. A full house. Madame Bay in a broad brimmed hat. The old farmer in checked shirt and track suit bottoms . Hugo, the malevolent Maltese, is there with his owners . Is it my imagination or do they ignore us ?
Seven thirty .The mayor stands up. '' It is with particular warmth that we welcome Monsieur ... " . He delves into his inside pocket for the slip of paper with the speakers name on it . He's unable to find it. Flumoxed , he turns , and points to the man sitting next to him on the platform . The man is dressed in black polo neck, black jacket, black trousers and brown shoes . After a suitable pause the mayor continues : '' Our speaker tonight is an acknowledged expert on garlic, its uses, and its recurrent maladies ". With that the mayor sits down .
' Ladies and Gentlemen. Dear friends . Welcome to the miraculous world of garlic ! '. Not many talks start like that . The facts spill out . 37% of French garlic is produced within 20 kilometres from here. Young people are apparently less keen on garlic than they used to be ( he uses the term a la snober ). Garlic is the best cure for gout. After this Angus starts to doze. Twenty minutes later he wakes up . The man in black still in full flow. There is a garlic malady with the unlikely name of Waxy Breack . Then a quick run through bacteria transmission, calcium deficiency and drought derived garlic diseases and we're finished . Half an hour of questions.
On the way out ' the font ' shakes the speakers hand. '' Absolutely fascinating . We wouldn't have missed it for the world ". Angus is less sure about the ' we ' part of this statement. Wilf sprints home across the village green . Roast chicken for dinner .