Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

EUNE FROUQU’THÉE D’JÈRRIAIS – (A FORKFUL OF JÈRRIAIS)

We continue our series of articles in Jèrriais – Jersey’s own traditional native language. The ‘frouque’ in question is a digging fork, rather than a table fork. An English translation follows.

This contribution comes from Laurence Curtis

Bouônjour, ch’est Laurence Curtis auvec eune autre articl’ye pouor “eune frouqu’thée d’Jèrriais”.

Jé c’mench’chai auvec des bouônnes nouvelles. Ieune dé nos fil’yes s’mathyit en Jèrri en Septembre. Lé jour dé d’vant vit eune abat mais i’ fûtent mathiés souos l’solé. Tout l’monde jouîtent dé la musique des vièrs anmîns d’la dgaingue “Caeserean Ceildh Band” tchi fut siévie par des chansons chouaîsies par les învités l’jour dé d’vant. Tout l’monde eûtent un bouôn temps et tchi’tchun m’dit qu’ la chant’tie et la dans’sie continnuîtent sus la beusse tchi portit tant d’s învités d’èrtou à lus hôtel chutte niet-là.

Pouor Jèrri, toutefais, i’ y’ eut pus d’mauvaises nouvelles pouor 2023 quand la fournituthe dé gaz arrêtit en Octobre – et pis, la tempête “Ciarán” arrivit.

D’aut’ bord, i’ y’ a tant d’ probliémes.  J’avons ouï d’s histouaithes des fichues înnondâtions et des feurs en Libye, en Somalie, en Grêce, au Cannada et dans d’aut’ pays.  Comme j’êcris chutte lettre i’ y’ a des probliémes auvec eune montangne brûlante en Islande et d’s êruptions en Sicile et au Japon et comme si ch’na n’tait pon assez, i’ y’ a des gens dans des gouvèrnéments, ou tchi voudraient gouvèrner, tch’ engagent dans des dgèrres, tchi tuent, tchi bliêssent ou tchi font des sans-abri,des gens tellement înnocents.

Auvec tout ch’na, j’trouvis difficile dé trouver tchiquechose pouor chutte lettre mais comme ma méthe pâssit l’pas en Septembre j’ai chouaîsi d’partagi tchiques mémouaithes et pensées des changements duthant sa vie tchi, p’têt, peuvent rapporter tchiques eunes dé tes mémouaithes. 

Margaret Falle (comme ou s’app’lait à chu temps-là) fut née en 1931 dans eune année quand la populâtion ‘tait raique 50,462 habitants. J’peux dithe chenna exactement car i’ y’ eut un recensement en 1931 pouor les Îles dé la Manche où’est qu’ nou peut vaie qu’i’ y’ avait raique 26 pèrsonnes dé 92 ans ou pus.

En 1939 sa fanmil’ye èrmuit dé “Ann Street”, éyou qu’i’ y’ avait eune brach’chie, pouor eune nouvelle maîson dans “Greenwood Terrace” près d’ “Green Street” et Lé Hâvre des Pas.

À chu temps-là l’vaîsinné ‘tait hardi difféthent et eune maîson ou eune hôtel ‘tait éyou qu’aniet i’ y’ a “Marrett Court”.  Bein seux, i’ n’ y’ avait pon les bâtisses pouor “Les Tilleuls” et “Les Saûzes”, (bâti en 1974, dêbâti en 2022), pon l’s appartéments à l’Ouêst dé “Green Street”, pon la tonnelle souos “Fort Regent” (1970) et l’ rond carrefour, pon même la pièche dé la “Rue du Fort” entre Green Street et La Rue du Grande Bouet (1967).  I’ y’ avait tchiques nouvelles maîsons sus “South Hill” mais raiqu’ un vièr Fort sus Mont de la Ville.  I’ y’ a un bouôn portrait dé 1933 dans l’livre “Eune histouaithe et célébrâtion dé St Hélyi” tch’est à la bibliothéque publyique.

En 1954 ma méthe mathyit man péthe à “St James Church” – achteu un centre d’art – et auprés les neuches i’ y’ eut eune réception à “Ritz Hotel” – dêbâti pouor construithe d’s appartéments en l’an 90- et pus tard il’ acatîtent un betchet d’tèrre dans un clios dans La Rue du Froid Vent.  I’ y’ avait un clios en driéthe dé la maîson et un gardîn à pommes en fache mais – tchi surprînse – tout l’monde voulaient un siez-sé et achteu i’ y’a des maîsons d’ La Rue du Froid Vent jusqu’à La Croix du Bois.

Et la vie changit avaû l’s années. Ma méthe aimait cachi et eune p’tite motorbike, eune BSA Bantam, fut rempliaichie par des vaituthes.  Preunmiéthement eune vielle Austin siévie par tant d’autres încliues deux Renault 4, eune VW minibeusse – quand i’ n’ y’ en avait raique trais en Jèrri et qu’ châque cacheux l’vait l’bras vèrs l’s autres – et eune êcliatante rouoge VW Golf Mk1 et d’autres. Et ch’est vrai qu’ les vaituthes sont dev’nues miyeuthes, pus fiabl’yes – et pus caudes.

Ch’est l’même auvec les maîsons tchi son hardi pus caudes auvec eune doubl’ye vitréthie et l’caûffage central et i’ n’ y’ a pon bésouain d’ s’accatonner l’ sé, et râcoter l’feu châque matîn.

Quand ma méthe ‘tait eune janne femme i’ n’ y’ avait pon d’ télévision (ch’na fut întroduit en Jèrri en 1955) ou l’Ithangnie.  Mais i’ y’ avait l’ gramophone, lé radio, les livres, d’s anmîns, sa fanmil’ye et d’s otchupâtions comme la couôtuthe, l’ouvrage et la tchuîsinne (ou couqu’thie) et des bèrnages. Ou griyit sa robe pouor ses neuches et pus tard ou rabilyait nos habits pouor mes fréthes et mé quand ch’tait nécessaithe, et nou pouvait souvent ouïe l’ clic-clack dé ses aidgulles à ouvrer ou l’ brit d’la d’bat’tie dans la tchuîsinne et l’odeu des gâches dans l’fou. 

Aniet les r’pas ont changi étout. Ma méthe avait un livre d’ èrchettes tch’ încliuait d’s oeux as’tchis dans l’s ingrédgeins.  Achteu mains d’ gens mangent des vièrs èrpas comme du faie auvec des ouognons et pus d’ èrpas d’alentou l’monde: l’Italie, la Chinne et des curry.  Et achteu nou peut acater des r’pas tout prêts pouor lé micro-louêmes. Mais tout l’monde aiment tréjous eune fraîche gâche fouôngnée à la maîson.

Eh bien, ch’est assez pour aniet.  À la préchaine.

Hello, it’s Laurence Curtis with another article for “eune frouqu’thée d’Jèrriais”.

I will start with some good news.  Our oldest daughter married in Jersey at the beginning of September.  The day before saw a downpour but they married  in sunshine.  Everybody danced to music from old friends in the Caeserean Ceilidh Band  which was followed by songs chosen by the guests before the day.  Everyone had a good time and I was told that the singing and dancing continued on the bus that carried many guests back to their hotels that night.

For Jersey, however, there was more bad news for 2023 when the gas supply stopped early in October – and then came Storm Ciarán. 

Elsewhere, there are many problems.  We have heard stories of terrible floods and fires in Libya, Somalia, Greece, Canada and other countries.  As I write this letter there are problems with a volcano in Iceland and eruptions in Sicily and Japan and as if that is not enough, there are people in governments, or who want to govern, engaged in wars which  kill, injure or make homeless so many innocent people.

With all this, I found difficulty choosing something for this letter but as my mother passed away in September I have chosen to share a few memories and thoughts of changes during her life which may, perhaps, bring back some your own memories.

Margaret Falle (as she was then) was born in the 1931, in a year when the population was just 50,462.   I can say that exactly as there was a census in 1931 for the Channel Islands where one can see there were just 26 people of 92 or older.

In 1939 her family moved from Ann Street where there was a brewery to a brand new house in Greenwood Terrace near Green Street and Havre des Pas.

At that time the area looked very different and there was a house or hotel where Marrett Court is today.  Of course there were no buildings for “The Limes” and The Willows”, (built 1974, demolished  2022) no flats to the west of Green Street, no tunnel and no roundabout, not even the part of La Route du Fort between Green Street and Roseville Street (1967).   There were some new houses on South Hill ,and just an old fort at the top of the Mont de la Ville.   There is a good photo from 1933 in the book “ A history and celebration of St Helier” which is in the library.

In 1954 my mother married my father at St James Church – now an Arts Centre – and after the wedding had a reception at the Ritz Hotel – demolished for flats in the 1990s, and later bought a plot of land in a field in Bon Air Lane.  There was a field behind and an orchard in front – but surprise, surprise   – everyone wanted a home and now there are houses from Bon Air Lane to Five Oaks.

And life changed over the years.   My mother liked to drive and a little motorbike, a BSA Bantam, was replaced by cars.   Firstly an old Austin followed by many others including 2 Renault 4s, a VW Minibus – when there were just 3 in the Jersey and the drivers waved to each other – and a bright red VW Golf Mk1 and others.  And it has to be said that the cars have become better and more reliable – and warmer.

It is the same with houses which are much warmer with double glazing and central heating and without the need to push the coals together in the evening and rake out the fire each morning.

When my mother was a young woman there was no television for her (it was introduced in Jersey in 1955) or internet.   But they had the gramophone, the radio, books, friends, her family and activities like sewing, knitting and the kitchen and chores.  She made her dress for her wedding and later mended our clothes for me and my brothers when needed, and one could often hear the click-clack of knitting needles or the rattle of the whisk and the smell of cakes in the oven.

Today meals have changed as well.  My mother had a recipe book which included dried egg in the ingredients.  Now less people eat the older meals like liver with onions and more meals from around the world, from Italy, China and curries.  And now on can buy meals all ready for the microwave.  But everyone still likes a fresh home baked cake.

Ah well, that’s enough for now.  Until the next time.

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