Alex Salmond, Aljaz, androstenol, Anton de Beke, Boar's Head Carol, Ferraro Rochers, Limousin cattle, Pasha, Perthshire, pig in a poke, Plutarch, poo, Strictly male professionals, there's brass, Thornton truffles, truffles, tuber maculatum, where there's muck
Murgatroyd was becoming over-enthusiastic. He had just purchased
some hazel saplings which were impregnated with truffle sporelings.
He had been assured that the spores originated from the hooves of
Limousin cattle which had come from a truffe-producing region. Ca
There was something magical about truffles. Even Plutarch had
postulated that, though made of muck, they had been formed when
a lightning bolt had hit the ground. And Murgatroyd had had a coup
de foudre idea when he had suddenly surmised that where there was
muck, there might be brass. He seemed to remember having read
about some schoolchildren in Perthshire who had discovered white gold,
or tuber maculatum, in their playground. Children loved anything that
resembled poo, but they loved hard cash even more. Apparently, they
were unbelievably, but altruistically donating the proceeds to their school
funds, to build a new kitchen.
Children seemed to be different nowadays.
But, at £2,800 per kilo it seemed a brilliant idea to seek
them out- the truffles, not the children, especially as he now had a
pig that he could train.
Diana dampened his enthusiasm.
It has to be a female pig, darling, she advised. The scent comes from
androstenol, a sex pheromeme found in boar saliva, so The Emperor
would not be attracted to the smell, unless he bats for the other team.
But we can get a sow, Murgatroyd pointed out. I want to breed for
sausage production anyway.
Yes, well, I read that you’d hardly harvest any, as the beast eats most of
them and, if you try to take them from her, you will fall into the category
of truffle hunters who do not have a full complement of digits. Also, I
seem to recall that someone said that even if you did find truffles in
Scotland, they wouldn’t taste of much.
That wouldn’t have been Alex Salmond then, he quipped.
Murgatroyd looked crestfallen. He had hoped to supply that canteen-
style restaurant that Dru had been harping on about- the one owned
by that Hugo Frondley-Whittingstall chap.
Have you told Aunt Augusta that The Emperor is male? Diana asked.
She’ll be so disappointed.
I’ll send her one of our Photoshop-ed calendars for 2015, said
Murgatroyd. The Emperor looks so noble in December, with his crown
of mistletoe, surrounded by carol singers with the Boar’s Head Carol
on their music stand. It was such fun producing it. I hope we sell
loads. The roof funding is really coming on nicely.
Well, she might not want a reminder of Time’s Winged Chariot and all
that, Diana said firmly. After all, she might not get the full use of a
calendar. I suspect she’d rather have a semi-naked portfolio of ‘Strictly’
male professionals. However, I don’t want to raise her blood pressure, so
I’ll send her a box of Ferraro Rochers, or Thornton truffles instead. I
expect they would be to her liking, unless you can source any truffle-
As you wish, Murgatroyd conceded. But I’m still going to get a sow.
Whatever, Diana replied. I just hope that it won’t be a pig in a poke, like
a lot of your ideas.
What do you mean by that? asked Murgatroyd. It was going to be one
of their first arguments for a long time.
Nothing, she muttered enigmatically. Nothing at all.
But she knew what he was like- of old.
Now, where could she buy some of those calendars with Pasha,
Tastier than some mouldy old lump of…She wished Dru could get a hold of some
of his spores. Even Anton’s would do. It was time that she was a