The maire informs me that a very rich man has viewed the chateau and has been struck by a ‘coup de coeur’. I should feel a bit windy, but a man who has made or held onto large amounts of money is unlikely to be daft enough to spend it there.
At intervals I take a visitor to Auvillar. Although always infested with pilgrims who are distinguished by extendable metal walking poles without which they cannot peregrinate, it’s consistently voted as one of the most beautiful villages in France and thus worth a visit. I gaze at its covered grain market and read the names painted on the wall of the various kinds of produce that used to be sold there and resolve to look them up on Google translate when I get home, by which time I’ve forgotten them. This time they were written down. Wheat, barley, maize, oats, rye don’t present much of a problem but m├ęteil translated as meslin, not a grain I know. This turns out to a be a mix of rye and wheat although why a farmer should combine them I cannot imagine. Champart was even more baffling, but seems to be the proportion of the harvest in a field that is used to pay the landlord’s rent. So now I know – and so do you.

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