I love romance. And luckily for me, I found it. I have a woman who does all my cooking and cleaning. She looks after me to an all-merciful degree. She ensures no harm comes to me. And if that’s not romance, well then, I don’t know what is.
Anyhow, not every fellow is as blessed as I am in the love department.
In rural Ireland today, there are vast swathes of single men biting at the bit for the chance to sidle up to that most rare of delectable creatures, namely the single unattached female.
In today’s rural Ireland, the single lady is about as rare as the corncrake. They cannot be found, high up or low down.
And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the pressing issue of the single farmer once more comes bounding to the fore.
Like a boil that needs lancing, it’s a problem that we simply cannot ignore. So that is why today I am attempting to solve the problem once again.
Indeed I may have stumbled upon something this time that could well put an end to the lonely nights of many.
So make room in the bed, my single friend, your problems could soon be at an end.
Berengere Hurley is a French lady of my acquaintance, and before you even ask, no, she’s not single, she’s happily married to my neighbour Mike.
So calm down. Berengere is not here to solve the problems of one farmer, but hopefully the plight of many single farmers in search of a life partner.
She told me the other day of this hit TV show that has been causing quite a stir in France for many years.
And I feel if RTÉ might haul themselves away from their old election coverage and put on an Irish version of the thing, the troubles of single Irish farmers could be over in a shot.
I’ll let Berengere do the talking, for she knows more about the French show than I do.
“So the show is called ‘L’Amour est dans le pré’ which translates to ‘Love is in the meadow,’ says she, with that wonderful French accent of hers.
“It invites farmers from every region and background, young and old, to look for love.” So far so good, says you.
“It starts in January, with a presentation of each farmer, that is shown over and over again on TV at different times, to make sure everybody has a chance to see them.
"Then people write in letters with pictures included. In the spring, the farmer gets the letters and reads them.
"It is filmed so we can see their reaction on seeing the letters and pictures. It is often emotional, as they don’t get that kind of positive reaction usually.”
Anyway the show moves on, with the farmer meeting up with 10 prospective partners, in a speed dating session on a boat, as they float down the river Seine.
Eventually, two lucky ladies are chosen from the group and invited onto the farm for the week.
These visits usually coincide with calving or lambing, so plenty of fun.
Anyhow the upshot of the whole thing is that sometimes it goes well, sometimes it goes very bad, but Berengere claims to have seen love blossom on the show on many occasions.
“A lot of couples were formed through the show. There have been lots of weddings, lots of babies.”
So RTÉ, what are you waiting for? Follow the good advice of Berengere Hurley and romance in rural Ireland will surely blossom.
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