Fill it with beanjar

US interest in our cows, a royal visit and the Olympic torch in Town – Neil Ross’ Emile has a lot to tell his cousin this month, including a cunning plan for sorting out the ‘Torrey Canyon’ quarry ...

(Illustration by Peewee).
(Illustration by Peewee).

US interest in our cows, a royal visit and the Olympic torch in Town – Neil Ross’ Emile has a lot to tell his cousin this month, including a cunning plan for sorting out the ‘Torrey Canyon’ quarry ...

CHER Eugene,

I don’t know if you’re watching the Olympics on your side of the world, mon viaer, but we had the Olympic torch here a few weeks ago, us.

It was carried around Town on a Sunday morning and there were thousands who went to see it, eh? It was on a tour round the UK and some places carried it in a helicopter and a train, and a rowing boat and all sorts of things, but it only came here by plane. Mick, from Fermain, he said if they’d wanted to make it a bit unique for Guernsey, he could have loaned them one of his crab pots, eh?

And I don’t know if you’ve heard, mon viaer, but there’s three local people been selected to compete in the actual Olympics, so I hope you’ve still got that flag I sent you. The lads to the slip, they were saying it’s a brilliant achievement for a small island. And it’s three more than Jersey as well, eh?

And we had a visit from Prince Charles last week, Eugene. It was part of the tour for the Diamond Jubilee, but he came four days after the Olympic torch, so he missed seeing it, him, eh? I was saying to Mick, I remember when he came before in his minesweeper – caw, that was a few years ago now, eh? Mick said there were local police on bikes following him round, but he didn’t see this new armoured Land Rover anywhere, him. I suppose if it’s the future king who’s the target and not the police themselves they didn’t see the need, eh?

Prince Charles came with his wife this time and they went to Herm and Sark as well, them, and do you know, the Sarkees gave them some mugs with their cartoon picture on? He probably thought he’d seen enough mugs and things with his picture, but I bet he hadn’t seen one with him sheep racing in Sark, eh?

And when they went up to Alderney, they gave him six live lobsters for a present. Caw, I wonder if he was like Jack when he wins the meat draw, telling his wife all proudly she doesn’t need to worry about something for dinner because he’s sorted it out himself, eh? I don’t how they got them back into the UK, mind. Any Customs officer putting his hand in their bag to check the contents would get a shock, eh? I suppose if he’d known, Mick from Fermain could have lent them one of his lobster pots as well.

It’s a good job the weather cleared up when they came, Eugene, because up to then, caw, we must have had the worst summer I can remember. The rain, it was so bad they even had to cancel the Viaer Marchi. Saumarez Park was so wet they were afraid it would turn into mud like that Glastonbury Festival. Well, with different music, eh?

I don’t know about you, Eugene, but I’m not sure I can remember the Viaer Marchi being cancelled before? And the trouble is, they only decided two days beforehand, so everyone had their preparations nearly all done. Mick said there was hundreds of loaves of gâche already baked and he didn’t know if they could be frozen to use another day. I said if they went stale they could just give them to some of these supermarkets – they’d taste the same as the ones they usually sell, eh?

And that former deputy, she’d started making gallons of beanjar, so she didn’t know what to do with that either.

Well, I had the answer for that as well, me. It was on the Press the other week about the Torrey Canyon oil and how they’ve cleaned nearly all of it out of the quarry, but there’s still some right to the bottom that they can’t shift. I said to Jack if the beanjar’s anything like Mrs Enevoldson’s, they could empty it into the quarry – that would dislodge anything left on the bottom, eh?

When you think, that was years ago we had that oil, Eugene, and they’re still trying to clear it up now. Jack said it reminds him of this new States having to clear up some of the decisions of the last ones. I know it’s early days, but at least they seem to realise they can’t spend money like the last lot.

And there’s a new one to the Commerce and Employment now, who says he wants to attract more businesses to the island, because that will help with the economy. But he’s talking about really big American firms like that internet Google one. Caw, there’s nothing like being ambitious, eh?

I mean, these firms, they’re big global companies, Eugene – they probably don’t even know where Guernsey is, them. They’d have to look on their own maps to find it, eh?

And I don’t suppose the firms would stay here long if the power went off every time there’s a fault with the French cable link, eh?

To be fair, that new minister did say he was going to try and look after the small local businesses as well and even try and do something about these English workers who come off the ferry in their white vans, but I don’t know if it’s all talk, mon viaer. After all, we’ve seen deputies before putting lots of things in their manifestos, but then they get sucked into the States system and nothing happens. Even that new Commerce one, he’s already using jargon, him, saying he’s got all these ideas but he needs to work out an outline roadmap first. Hang, you’d think he’d know a roadmap in Guernsey isn’t much use with the way the roads keep getting closed, eh?

Mind you, I might be wrong when I said these US firms don’t know about Guernsey, mon viaer. There’s a project with decorated cows now, like they did with donkeys last year? And I heard they had to change the name of their idea because there’s an American firm with the same name that complained. Caw, if they get worried that 52 plastic cows in Guernsey might affect their reputation, we might be more important than we thought, eh?

A la perchoine,

Your cousin, Emile.