Above: "Might as well jump", a depressed City shaver mouths a little synth-driven Van Halen on the edge of a ledge.
Last month I commented on the exceptionally poor start to the white Alba truffle season and the effect of this on truffle prices in London.
Three weeks later weather is still too dry in Alba, white truffles are still rare and London prices have not changed much.
Some good news if you buy your white truffles at Selfridge's: Selfridge's current asking price is 5000 pounds a kg, down from its billionaires only opening price of 7500 pounds a kg.
London Fine Foods' current asking price is unchanged at 6500 pounds a kg.
My Holland Park supplier's current asking price is 4,400 pounds a kg, up from his opening price of 4100 pounds a kg. He says the quality is very good, but I'll not be meeting him in a dark alley any time soon.
The black truffle, white truffle's warty sister, has been in the news a bit lately.
Fortnum & Mason, Her Majesty's grocer, is currently selling English black truffles at 300 pounds a kg. (This is not a bad price - my Holland Park guy's current asking price for black truffles, albeit from Italy, is 410 pounds a kg). I'm yet to shave or taste these English truffles. Those I nosed at Fortnum & Mason two weeks ago were uninspiring - quite old and carried only a faint hint of typical black truffle aroma.
About a year ago an interesting article appeared on jancisrobinson.com about Fortnum & Mason's mysterious English truffle supplier. The owners of the land, said to be near Marlborough Downs, planted birch, beech and hazel trees in the mid 90s with no intention of cultivating truffles. Ten or so years later, shazam, loads of black truffles appear. No one seems to know how or why. One explanation kicking about is that truffle spores arrived on the land with cattle the owners imported from a region in the south of France very well known for its black truffles.
Wednesday's Guardian contained the following quote from an Asda (the lowish-end UK super-market group) spokesman on truffles: "Truffles are normally the food of millionaires. People eating in some restaurants can pay 50 quid just to have a few scrapings on top of their food. We want to bring them to ordinary people."
Asda is planning to plant a one acre patch of land in Pontefract, West Yorkshire with more than 200 oak and birch trees whose roots have been impregnated with spores from Perigord black truffles.
Very Best of luck to Asda. I hope Tesco and the other big players follow.
The bad news is that truffles are notoriously difficult to cultivate and Asda is not expecting any truffles on its shelves for at least five years.