Now then I confess that my reading might not be as wide as it should be. There are whole swathes of literature where I’ve barely skimmed the surface. So when my daughter appeared, waving a glossy Sunday Supplement at me, I confess I was about to venture into deep waters. Previously I had barely paddled around the edges of this literary abyss, now I was encouraged to plunge in, or at least read the advertisements.
And there, by my daughter’s quivering finger, was an advert for sloe gin. Apparently if I was to pay the advertiser the relatively princely sum of sixty pounds, they’d send me a bottle of sloe gin and a small blackthorn bush. All this came in a crate. My first thought, looking at the crate, was that ‘pallet timber is cheap enough.’
Obviously this is a venture I could take on, sloe gin I can make, apparently successfully. Blackthorn I’m familiar enough with, we’ve got a fair length of blackthorn hedge. Pallet timber I can acquire easily and cheaply enough. My main problem is finding somebody who would hand over sixty pounds for the combination. Not only do I live among folk who seem to be almost indecently thrifty in this regard, but my friends seem to share the same pragmatic attitude to such purchases. An attempt locally to combine the fruits of the garden centre with those of the saloon bar would meet little success.
That’s probably why you have to advertise in Sunday Supplements?
But anyway I’ve already got my marketing sorted
First my recipe for Sloe Gin
Note I’ve got to make it exotic if it’s going to be worth sixty quid.
First take your gin, bon marché et chimique
Then sugar, doux et blanc
Finally the sloes, noir, gele et juteux
Finally, a bottle, d’occasion avec nouvelle étiquette
Obviously the proportions are important, but equally obviously I cannot tell you them because I don’t want every Tom, Dick or Blodwen making it.
Blackthorn plants aren’t a problem, I can get them at £60 per hundred, but again I’ll have to do something to make them even more exotic
That’s it; we’ll call them Prunus spinosa et divites adultery
So who could resist this, Sloe Gin, bon marché et chimique with your own plant of Prunus spinosa et divites adultery so that you can produce your own gin in years to come.
As an aside, the use of French and Latin is as fraudulent as the rest of the project.
As a further aside, in case you hadn’t realised, for the fine Novella, “The Cartographer’s Apprentice” I am asking a mere £1.15. Four short stories from the Land of the Three Seas casting a light on the early career of Benor Dorfinngil. The trials and tribulations of a young cartographer; this book features duels, savage halfmen, gassy beer, blood feuds and most dangerous of all, beautiful women.
Something to read with your sloe gin perhaps?
Go on; treat yourself, cheap at twice the price
As a reviewer commented “
These are four excellent short stories introducing the early days of Benor. Each tale pulses with humour as the well-drawn characters engage in various adventures. Each story features great dialogue, lots of good food, wine and ale, all taking place in a believable and well-drawn world where the streets pulse with life. The reader gets a powerful sense of being there in a real world with real people going about their real lives.
I look forward to reading the next book and wish I’d read this one far sooner.”