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Friday, 2 September 2011

JERSEY: THE CHANNEL ISLAND WAY: 5: The East Coast (ii)

OR: “LET’S DO LUNCH…”

Puddings (I forgot to photograph the Exquisite Main Course...)

We had lunch on the terrace in Gorey at a splendid Gastro-pub; Castle Green. The conversation was lively but a snippet remains with me. Both Mark & I had noticed that the locals have quite a distinctive accent. Now, when I say distinctive, you have to  bear in mind my origins: I speak “Estuary English.” I get horribly mixed up with accents that are not from where I come from. A good example of this is continually confusing an Irish accent with that of the Scots.

Indeed, almost twenty years ago now I walked for two days with a delightful chap from Morpeth and didn’t understand a blind word he said to me for the entire time. I tried my best and nodded in what I thought were the appropriate places and sighed heavily when I thought the time had come to empathise with what was evidently a massive problem as he seemed to be so worked up about everything as his intonation soared and plummeted so wildly.

In my head, the folk from Jersey do a pretty good South African accent. Or, of course, it might be Australian; whatever, it isn’t from around the Thames by any stretch of the imagination. It’s really quite interesting that amongst friends from the area their accents become ‘heavier’. Speaking as an outsider it is quite charming. They also have little idiosyncrasies that could land the unwary in hot water. Arthur told us that it is quite common to answer a question and add an ‘eh?’ at the end of the sentence (I suppose in a similar vein to  the Aussies; I’ve seen ’Neighbours’ so I’m now an expert in these matters). This can have dire consequences if you were to find yourself at the Liberation Bus Station at St Helier:

When asking for the correct bus to Portelet Bay from St Helier the answer will be “You’ll need to catch the Number 12, eh?”

You’re there already, aren’t you? Indeed, the 12A bus goes somewhere completely different, but just as charming; St Ouen’s Bay.

Mark, discussing dialects Arthur, discussing Bus Timetables

We lingered a little over lunch. It would have been a shame to dash off, with so much to learn… Here’s a tip: The Pan fried local bass served with green beans, broad beans, Jersey Royals, chorizo and salsa verde is absolutely wonderful… As you have seen, the puddings were pretty fine too!

It’s a tough life, being a Walking Holiday Inspector, but, as they say, somebody has to do it… (Just pinch me… How did I get this gig?)

9 comments:

  1. Alan you're bound to wake up soon, so enjoy it while you can.

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  2. So...Mark's doing the hard work writing about the walk...and you're going to do the easy bit photographing lunch. I am jealous in the extreme.

    The Canadians are big on "Eh!" as well. I used to have a T-shirt with that same logo on the front. I've heard it used occasionally in Scotland too. Wonder if it's a derivative of the Scottish "aye" meaning yes - amongst other things.

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  3. Geoff: It all seems so far away now, now that I am back at my desk in Mission Control, with just the pictures of the sensational food to take me back...

    Kenny:
    A trifle unfair... I had to scramble along behind the dynamic duo; the same struggling miles had to be completed... And I could never begin to compete with Mark's photographic skills with my little point & shoot party camera.

    Stay tuned for tomorrow's lunch... a photographic feast if there ever was such a thing!

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  4. "Gastro-Hiking" indeed, Robin! We should patent that expression. It's bound to catch on... We'll be rich, Rodney!

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  5. The Better Half is almost completely deaf to accents. We were watching John Bishop on the gogglebox recently and she asked me where he he was from.
    I, on the other hand am very keen on a good accent, I often have to remind myself that, although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it's unlikely that anyone will appreciate it if I mimic their accent.
    I have to say Alan - it seems to me that you're doing a excellent job of presenting Jersey's many fine qualities.

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  6. I am afraid I am with your wife.. (oooh!) It took me ages to work out where John Bishop was from (he finally mentioned it in a gag) as he sounds like he has a mouth full of someone else's false teeth...

    That's very sweet of you, Mark, but I haven't started on the pubs yet!

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  7. I'm getting an amusing picture in my head now of Mark dutifully asking questions, taking photos and of you listening intently, nodding intelligently while thinking "so where exactly is the next meal-stop" :)

    Incidentally if Mark is reading this, where on earth does TBH think I come from with my accent?

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  8. Indeed, Andy: Mark is an intellectual. And, the caveman in me wants to know where there is shelter, warmth and the next Gastro-pub.

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