Sunday, March 10, 2013

Yar primer

P1130148Howard messaged me this morning to suggest elevenses at a waterside cafe in Yarmouth. It’s only a few minutes from Freshwater and we find ourselves by the pier having (or at least I had) extremely undistinguished coffee. Lavazza roasters would cry if they found out how their espresso beans were tortured into something weaker than instant.

A few years back I located a convict ancestor whose papers placed his birth in Yarmouth. I was rather excited by this but couldn’t find anyone of his surname (Wales) on the Isle of Wight at that time. I suspected that he was actually from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, IMHO more blight than wight and this proved to be the case. The Suffolk version is at the mouth of the river Yare,  while the Wightish one is at the mouth of the Western Yar.

Of course there are a bjillion and one other Yarmouths in North America undoubtedly founded by the children of one of these two. Naturally Google Maps will always assume that anyone wants one of the American yarchildren, much as when it pointed me to Devon Alberta Canada when it has my location information placing me a leeeetle bit closer to Devon England.
Yarmouth pier bell Yarn out!
The other yar-thing that comes to mind is Katharine Hepburn’s description of a model boat in The Philadelphia Story: it’s yar … easy to handle and moves along smoothly. The word returns later in the film, as an ideal of personality or behaviour. Let’s hope for some yar coffee here one day. In the meantime, there’s just the Whatever Happened to Baby Jane version: But yar Flat White, yar flat and blanched in that cup! (As you can see this sort of insipid muck doesn’t really stimulate me to brilliant analogy.)Western Yar (2)
The sun has returned for a while with some real force to it. After a brief loiter in a used book store we walked towards the estuary where Munson could be let loose on a boat ramp for a brief moment.

Rampant joy

The fact-board below shared a further Yar detail that at the time of the Domesday Book, the place was recorded as Eremue or “muddy latte estuary”. I don’t know enough etymology to say whether there’s a connection between that and the modern name even with the phonological similarity. For those more interested in shiny pebbles and shells, I found one of these interesting magnifier posts which has openings for you to deposit a small object under a magnifying glass for a better view.

There’s a nice long walk from here by the river to lower Freshwater town. I don’t think time or weather is going to allow me to do it this time unfortunately. The weather is sliding rapidly towards a major cold snap, with subzero temperatures and snow forecast from tomorrow night.

Western Yar estuary  Magnifier for the precious thingsWestern Yar (1)
Ellie guards Munson's portrait
Dropping Howard back at Freshwater, he showed me the finished portrait of Munson he’d just finished. I’m just showing this tantalising peek until I can blog more about it in a few days.

Believe me, you’ll love it!

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