The Morris Men of Little Egypt
A Bloodless Crusade
What a fine Pyrenees ...
"Calquecop le pa que be quand las denses s'en soun anandos."
|When we got to Espezel, it looked, to be honest, as though it was closed.
All it needed was a roll of tumbleweed and a howling coyote, and it would have been fit for the High Plains Drifter to emerge from a mirage.|
The wind was blowing, the village shop was closed, etc. etc. ... but that didn't allow for what went on beyond the walls of the Le Relais de Pays du Sault outside which the coach had parked.
For there we found wines and food of the best and a patron who could dispense wine on an industrial, nay Olympic, scale.
|Not only did he dispense the stuff - he also poured it down people's throats, noses, foreheads - including, frequently, his own.|
|When the first wines appeared on the tables, we thought to sample them.|
To the unfamiliar palate, they tasted strange, but very pleasant - a sort of madeira/sherry cross, without the overbearing cloyingness.
This, we were told, was the local Muscat.
And it went very well with the scratchings left on the tables to nibble.
Duck scratchings, that is.
In response to these blandishments we did what Morris Dancers do, we danced.
|Naturally enough, all that sun, the breezes, the Muscat and the dancing helped us work up an appetite.|
The menu was fascinating.
Everything (apart from the "faux filet" and the cheese) was built around Duck, in splendid variety - grilled, stewed, roast, preserved, sausaged, paté-ed - and all delicious.
And, of course, accompanied by plenty more wine.
|Tommo had steak.|
|It had, of course, to be a matter of time before an extra
member of the party arrived.|
We reckon Sebastian checked in sometime during lunch, and was soon creating havoc by inducing other members of the group to wear silly hats.
Not that we really noticed, because we'd all had such a brilliant time that we would have welcomed Aleister Crowley on board.
As we left, we thought we caught a fleeting glimpse of the patron still pouring wine down his face.
But perhaps it was another Tumbleweed Mirage.
In any case, there was more fun ahead, in the evening.