Wednesday 15 March 2006

Dear Diary

When Xtal and Roy were visiting the farm with me in February Xtal discovered a diary tucked away by the fireplace in the building, hovel3, that I plan to make into chambres d'hote. It's a pocket diary, dated 1958, green leatherette with a metal clasp and each day has been completed in pencil.

Diary of a farmer

It's going to be difficult to translate, old fashioned french handwriting, none too neat and of course in colloquial french of the period. Still we have to give it a go. The name is Anne Auguste, this doesn't seem to be any relation to the Lesaulnier-Turmet clan from whom we bought the property. I think we could probably find out more about the previous owners if we applied to the notaire, I'm told they are obliged by law to keep information like this for 400 years although the wartime bombing is often cited as the reason any particular document cannot be retrieved.

Not many of the personal details have been filled in - Anne (and I'm not even sure whether this is male or female) takes shoe size 42 (7.5 -8 in UK sizes). Pretty big for a woman but not unbelievable. As well as the diary there are four extra notes retained at the back. A Dog's Prayer, an insert from a dose of Brucellosis vaccine and two scraps with notes on. One seems to be quantities for a batch of jam, the other defies interpretation for now.

The entry for Janvier Mecredi 1, Circoncision reads as far as I can determine:
J'ai fait des billets et faire cuivre du pomme de terre
conflane est parti se promener
beau temps

which translates easily enough but doesn't quite seem to make sense. I think conflane is a name, it's used in several entries but it's not a name I'm familiar with. More research needed.

Something which confirms what we've been told is that the writer gives her address as village de la Rupallerie indicating that the properties may have been inhabited by several families and not just one extended group.

Anyway, translation of this early form blog will continue, more to come later.

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