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Jun 24, 2014

Naked Night at Villa Funky Fungus: Galet du Mas du Thomas

THE STORY:
 
Our Provence crew is two families with four girls, three moms...and Anthony. It's Anthony and his harem!


Naturally, what happens with a bunch of kids (especially since they're all one gender) in hot weather is that they strip down to nakedness. So much for all those bathing suits we brought. It turns out when the weather's nice, and you're among friends, clothing is largely optional. Besides Naked Swimming, the activities also include Naked Movie Watching, Naked Crafting, Naked Snacking, Naked Dining, Naked Sleeping, and let us not forget Half-naked Hiking (the concession to civilization outside the villa walls).

 
 
 
 
I have photos that perhaps show the high level of nakedness (or low level of clothing?) more clearly but, sadly, I cannot post them for fear of being accused of child pornography.
 

Naked Mornings and Afternoons naturally give way to Naked Nights, and I'm not talking about orgies. One night, the ladies decide it is simply no fair that the children and Anthony all get to hang around in the heat without constrictive bras and hot T-shirts. And so the only fair thing to do is to finish cooking and to dine together topless. Anthony seems completely unfazed. I later ask him, "Can you imagine if you could go back in time and tell your 20-year old self that someday you'd be eating with a bunch of topless women?! Your 20-year old self would be so excited. Then your 40-something-year old self would just shrug and say, 'Eh, they're just breasts.'"

Lest you think it's a nudist colony, we do ask Pippa to put an SPF sunshirt on when she starts to get a small rash that we attribute to sun. After so much flesh, it's shocking to see her covered -- really covered.


But then one by one, the other girls start getting small rashes, too, and Sarah submits the official diagnosis of "Funky Pool Rash". Though Sarah is not a medical doctor, she apparently has a specialty in diagnosing gross body problems: lice, funky fungi, and I'm afraid to find out what else she knows about. It's true that the water is looking decidedly murkier than it was at the beginning of the week, so perhaps she's right. The filter may be broken, but not the girls' spirit. Fungus or no fungus among us, they keep swimming and smiling.

 
THE CHEESE: Galet du Mas du Thomas
 
Galet du Mas du Thomas is a raw goat's milk cheese made in Quercy, in the department of Lot, which neighbors the department of the Dordgone. "Galet" means "pebble", and "mas" is the traditional name of a kind of stone house in Southern France. Though I must say it doesn't look much like a pebble -- more like a stepping stone. The disc is about the diameter of a CD, those old-fashioned things.
 
 
This is a lovely, creamy, oozy cheese, in which you can definitely taste the farm. No wonder: It's a farmhouse cheese, made daily with milk from their herd of 300 Alpine goats, 15 of whom are bucks.  Besides the terrain the goats graze on, their diet is also supplemented when needed with hay, oats, barley and non-GMO corn. It's the first cheese finished on the platter.
 
THE CONNECTION:


A mas is a villa in southern France -- and particularly associated with the Provence region. It's the kind of stone villa this semi-naked crew is living in for the week. Thomas' mas mentioned in this name of the cheese appears to be in Quercy, which is in southern France, just west of Provence. Not only is this cheese named for a mas, but I like the juxtaposition of this cheese being named after a man's mas, whereas our villa seems to be permeated with a lot of estrogen -- as well as some strange fungus.

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