Exercise 69

Crysten and Tôny have been invited to a ‘Plantagenet Supper’ at the house of the vice-chair of the re-enactment society. Each guest must contribute one mediaeval style course to the meal.


What can we take? I looked in the supermarket and could only find modern food!


Let’s tackle it just like ordinary folk in the Middle Ages. They hardly had any meat for the table. A poor man couldn’t afford meat unless he caught a rabbit or a wood pigeon. But there were always vegetables. I’m going to make a pot of delicious cabbage soup. Cabbage and soup, they’re almost the same thing in Cornish! So cabbage, and onion or garlic to go with it. If I assume I’ve got a hen that’s stopped laying, I can use its broth. And I must certainly add a dash of ‘Cathay parsley’.


Cathay? China? Wouldn’t something oriental be a luxury, not authentic, among ordinary people of an earlier period?


No, it’s fine. ‘Cathay parsley’ is nothing but a romantic name. It’s a herb that was already found among the ancient Greeks. Used to grow in many a mediaeval kitchen garden.


And what can I take to the dinner? Your cabbage soup is a little too frugal for my liking. I might have thought my husband would be a bit richer than a humble peasant. Aren’t you a master carpenter, with your chair and all your tools?


Let’s say a journeyman carpenter! Why don’t you take along an easy dessert? Drunken pears, for example. Stew them in red wine. With honey, vinegar to give a sweet and sour flavour. Add cinnamon and ginger to spice it up. And to prove you’re a woman of means. That would be a real recipe from times gone by.


And the ingredients will be in the supermarket after all. Come on! Let’s go shopping, both of us together.

Exercise 70

Elen is rushing to the bus station in Truro to catch a bus. She’ll be staying with her friend Morwena Tregelles in St Austell over the weekend. Mark goes along with Elen to the station, as porter for her suitcase.


Hurry! It’s past the time for the bus to leave. I’m late. I just hope it’s late too!


(bothered) Hey stop! This case isn't shut properly.

Just after he’s said this, the case bursts open, and a lot of clothes drop on to the ground.


Oh Mark! What have you done?


Me? Nothing! The bag’s bust! Why the hell don’t you get one with a better zip?

Mark packs the things up once more, as fast as he can, and wrestles with the zip.


That’s it at last. As good as before. Now run, Mum! We might still catch the bus!


(when they arrive panting at the station) No. It’s gone. How disappointing! I’ll have to wait for the next one.

Exercise 71

Following the success of its Open Day, the re-enactment society has arranged a Mediaeval Hog Roast, with tickets for ‘All you can eat’. Tùbmas and his mate Hecka are sizing up the victuals.


This meat is a sight for sore eyes! What an amazing smell. Such a shame there weren’t any potatoes in Cornwall all that time ago! Not a single chip! But thank God, no salad either!


No chips. No ketchup. But there’s mustard. And apple sauce. And fried onions. And mashed parsnips. And mushy peas. And period bread. Like sourdough.


Excuse me. Are you in the queue? Or just looking?


No, we’re queuing. But you and your family can go in front of us. We’re in no hurry. Seeing the two lads I’d say they have one big appetite!


Thank you very much!


(as serving-wench for the feast) Take a platter, each of you. They’re wooden platters, produced by our society’s carpenters. Take one of our wooden spoons as well. And read the important notice please. It’s in both languages. Read the important notice please! “Tell us right away if you have an allergy! And return one platter and one spoon to the washing-up team at the end!” They're handmade and we’d be sorry to lose them.


Mrs Chegwyn, isn’t it? If I may. I think your costume's very pretty. Was it made by your society’s people?


Thank you. You're very kind. The needlework on the bodice was done by me. And the pattern’s a traditional one. But the woollen fabric is thick, and this fire and all the smoke is too close! My husband really has to wear an apron for handling the meat.


(as serving-man for the feast)

Bring platter here for slice of our noble hog. Mind fingers! Don’t scald them on the hot fat! Help yourself to mash and mush, all the lot.


This beats an English lesson any day, sir!

Jana Bligh:

Hi Elen! Hello there! I was wondering if we’d be seeing you and the family as this feast is a local thing!


Hello Jana. And Zoe too! What a surprise! Get in the queue, and in a minute we can sit together and have a chat.

Exercise 72






Exercise 73

cans, dew dheg try

peder mil, pymp cans, whe deg seyth

eth deg naw mil, dêwdhek

tryhans, peswar deg pymp mil, whe cans, seyth deg eth

naw mylyon, dêwdhek mil, tryhans, peswar deg pymp