OR: “LET’S DO LUNCH…”
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.
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?)