Vigilant readers will be aware that for my birthday present this year my dear and indulgent family bought me a new British-designed wonder - pBone, the plastic trombone.
I showed it to the prof de trombone at the music school. He showed it to the director, himself an ex-trombonist who was forced to give up the instrument because of illness. They showed it to the profs of tuba and of viola, then to various trombonists from divers august ensembles and disreputable street-bands.
The upshot is that demand far exceeds supply. I know personally at least 20 people who want one, plus there's all the others I have never met, but there's only one trombone here and it's mine.
This situation is not much better in the UK where as soon as the website puts stock online within 15 minutes all is sold. Not only that but the company does not deliver outside the UK. A good and devoted friend sent the trombone on to me here.
I recently secured another three. One is on its way to France even now. The other two will follow soon I hope.
I suppose that the bright side of this difficult situation is that I find myself having cornered the market in plastic trombones for the Gironde. I am the 21st century black-marketeer. I stand to solve my retirement problem once and for all. "Roll up, roll up. In the UK they go for 50 quid. Here they're as rare as hens' teeth. What am I bid...? Any advance on a villa in Spain and a Maserati ?"
The dark side is that I risk losing all my erstwhile trombone buddies...