Ian and his assistant Julia turned up at Belton village hall on a foul night, with smiles on their faces and set about setting up for their cheese talk. Cheese arrived, then more cheese. boxes were unpacked, cheese unwrapped, morsels sliced and cheeses of all colours and flavours emerged in front of our eyes. Hatters blew in from the cold, some having got lost looking for us, and all holding onto their hats. We clasped drinks and mingled until all 26 of us had assembled, then the talk began. Ian , the chap we met at Kilworth house driving the buggy around the grounds, told us his story, how he came down from Liverpool to work in the great city of Leicester, how he migrated from meat to cheese and never looked back. His passion for the beautiful yellow stuff effervesced from his mouth, along with frequent diversions into French restaurants with hairy lipped squids and the like. He was careful about his organisms, passionate about his bacteria and shocking with his climaxes.
Here’s Ian laying out his wares. Julia in the background supervising. She wanted to come along and see what this red hat thing was all about!
And my view of all the hatters engrossed…
Then we were invited to try the cheese. Blue Stilton, Yarg (Mr Gray backwards!), Lymeswold, cheeses that tasted of Christmas pudding and lemon tarts, soft cheese, hard cheese, mouldy cheese, mighty mitey cheese, and lots of cheeses whose names I’ve forgotten but I tried them all. Along with Molly’s amazing mix of crackers with chutneys and fruits on top, wine and Schloer, it turned into quite a feast and I was glad I hadn’t had time for any supper.
Our thanks to Ian for his great talk, for all the intrepid hatters who came out on the worst night of the year so far, especially Lady Jane Purple of Wing, who texted me to say she wasn’t coming because her neighbour had said not to travel unless it was absolutely essential. So I texted back saying it was essential. I was joking but she came anyway! Hope it was worth it Jane!