Saturday, March 03, 2012

Going rural

Nogaro market

We started the day with a morning jaunt to Nogaro, about 40 minutes as a drunken crow flies. Since Ben hasn’t seen much of the area, I thought we’d try a town I hadn’t stopped in before on its market day. There was very little going on : it’s just not a productive time for the growers, but at least we saw a little of this thousand year-old town. I learnt from a reconstruction chart on the local eglise that it was originally Nugarolium, which means “the city of the walnut trees”.

And wine is a stranger who Ben inviteth in  Gustav's mind tricks

Back home we resumed our relentlessly placid pace of life on the terrace. Ben had bought a few jars of confits and terrines laced with armagnac, with Munson extremely eager to clean out one of the finished ones.

Munson loves paté Nick van Bloss goes rural

Earlier in the week Ben had mentioned that his friend Nick van Bloss had recorded a version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations which had been very well received. It’s not a piece that I’ve had a good response to in the past but I liked what I heard in preview so bought a copy of the album as a digital download. I played it through the kitchen radio during post-dinner drinks so Ben thought he should call Nick to tell him that he’d made a sale. Nick’s very quick response to the news that he was now “big in south west France” was that he’d gone rural rather than gone viral.

The rest of the evening went into a bit of a blur of bottles of Bordeaux, Gustav introducing Ben to some American rock-bands and me bashing out half of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album on the piano. This is an equal-opportunity household for all manner of music. Maybe one future day Ben will accompany some rising vocal stars in a Jim Steinman song-cycle.

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