Thursday, 13 March 2008
This is my Aga
I'm sitting admiring my Aga in the warmth of the afternoon sun. I've been toying with the idea of making far more of the fact that I have an Aga because down here in the Languedoc it's something of a rarity and is the subject of much fascination amongst those who are not familiar with the Aga cooker. I have great plans for promoting Le Chateau as a home from home complete with the solid reliable presence of the friend who never lets you down. For those without such a cooker what better opportunity to enjoy and discover its diverse uses.
First things first though and I google 'Aga Holidays'. As I suspected, I cannot see any site for Aga Lovers to select a holiday purely on the basis the house has an Aga. My eye's light upon an article written in the Telegraph recently, 'Aga boss turns up the heat'. Exciting stuff, an advertising campaign has just been launched, pre tax profits for the company have come in at over 26 million pounds. I'm sitting here feeling I may have been a tad neglectful of promoting an attractive commodity of my self catering enterprise. Even better I see that there is a "Love Aga" campaign and the launch of a site aptly named this is my Aga, which can be used as a social networking tool where Aga owners can post up pictures of their beloved with stories to match. I became quite excited when I thought of the countless visitors that have enjoyed the experience of our Aga here at Le Chateau. There have been families of Spanish with Madre (Mama) at the fore eyeing up this strange contraption with a degree of suspicion until they realise the ease in which one can cook for large numbers. Small children have wriggled and sat upon the warming plate, grown ups too curled up for comfort. Countless pairs of socks have aired, numerous jeans that simply must be ready for the morning, sheets neatly folded and hundreds of meals served from the classic rice pudding to lamb so beautifully tender it melts in your mouth.
Group photographs have been taken with the Aga as a central feature, why we've had the most wonderfully talented artist to stay who has painted a picture of the kitchen with the Aga at its heart. Goes without saying wouldn't you think that my little Aga is going to be the beginning of my road paved with gold to early retirement.
I note the company's share price has dropped some 25% since September so I expect they will be glad when Sally's Chateau joins the ranks, swelling the numbers of the Aga owners extolling the virtues of this magnificent piece of engineering.
But wait a minute .........there seems to be a slight hitch, I can't join the Aga family and be embraced from fellow owners around the globe. I can't be one of the band of 300,000 including Gilly Cooper and David Cameron, it doesn't look like my home will be in the "Love Aga" book to celebrate the 300th anniversary after all. Because, despite the Aga boss William McGrath talking of international expansion and the mere 3.5million spent to spark some life into this iconic slow cooker brand I've been excluded from the benefits of this site.
And the reason ?
I don't live in the UK.
Makes you wonder what sort of salary he's on doesn't it ?