Oasis memory number 4:

As Marjorie sat on that bed bolt upright like a ramrod,she paused for a moment because this reality,the nature of the challenge in making this life changing move now confronted him.She just hadn’t really understood what it might mean because coming to Cornwall wasn’t just moving to another part of Britain,it was like a completely different country.For seemed like hours,she sat there,oblivious to the time,only hinted at by the dark clouds of an early evening Cornish Drizzle.If Mrs Jasper had more I sight,she might have gently knocked on her door to summon her for dinner but she wasn’t that type of person.Not standing in ceremony,she banged in her door:”Dinners ready ,you’ll ave to cum down or it will spoil”.Marjorie,composed herself,placed her cutting on the bed,thinking that she must ask for a vase as soon as she got downstairs.

Now,the Fayre on offer ,now famed throughout the country and protected under EU law as an authentic recipe,was “a Pasty”.To Marjorie,brought up in South London,it seemed liked a strange shaped pie.As she searched around for cutlery,she observed Mrs Jasper pick her pasty up with her hand and it seemed like a medieval banquet to her and was contrary to every table manner that she had been taught since a child.Her search for her trusty knife and fork was to no avail and because she was famished because she hadn’t eaten all day,she swallowed her pride and took her first bite.Like a frightened child ,she didn’t fully taste anything as the first one was a taste of hard rough pastry.Because she was so hungry,she persisted in her victuals,and as if to grapple with this thing that seemed to morph into another culinary manifestation.Her early reticence for this dish was quickly replaced as the potatoe meat,suede,onion and gravy fused with the masticated marinade juices ,and that was her hooked on the staple diet of the Cornish at that time,and,to a large extent,remains such today.

“You sum ungry maid”.At first,Marjorie tried to concentrate on this peculiar dialect that is the mangled Cornish version of the English language,but ,no matter how hard she concentrated,it remained an enigma to her.To her,the English language was sacrosanct,but these people seemed to take delight in blending every vowel and consonant together until you can’t make head nor tail of what is being said.Now,to most of us brought up around this dialect ,it’s a normal thing,it’s what everyone sounds like,but to a visitor and especially a highly educated one,it was an absolute affront to the mother tongue.

As Mrs Jasper continued to prattle on,Marjorie had to admit defeat in ever comprehending what was being said,choosing to devour her home made rice pudding.Marjorie might have had profound issues with the way the Cornish spoke,but her love of their food would be a constant throughout her life with her family being coaxed to indulge in her favourite dishes whenever they came down on holiday.

Mrs Jasper had her issues with life,and was vocal ,as many of the Cornish are,in her opinions.These diatribes seemed to last for hours leaving Marjorie quite exhausted and totally confused by the names and activities of the local Cornish clans and their quirky ways.Retiring to bed,with Vase in hand,Marjorie placed her rose cutting in her hand,placing it religiously into the glass receptacle.Her thoughts,though private in many ways ,might have resembled many a would be educator during this period.

It would be Sunday tomorrow and this Methodist village observed the Wesley traditions with zeal bordering on fanaticism.There seemed a strong desire to rest and her bedtime routine of reading ,for once ,took a back seat as slumber awaited .


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