I then remembered I was having a day off and decided to look for cheerier things; and was immediately rewarded by the sight of three young guys – possibly a young father and his two sons, playing cricket on the strand. The waves lapping against the bowlers legs, the wickets a couple of sticks of bamboo, it was about as rudimentary a sports arena you could imagine. But they were taking it as seriously as if it were Lords.
We drove on, but not far, for at the top of the next ridge we got a vista down into the next valley; Layou. I remembered I had once spent time in the village of Layou in Dominica. I wondered why the same names cropped up so regularly in the Caribbean. Some were fairly easy to understand. Soufriere is a French word for “something which carries sulphur” like a volcano or hot spring. But I cannot find what Layou is. Anse is a French word for cove, Arnos Vale crops up a couple of times, including St Vincent’s old airport, which is derived from a district near Bristol city centre, noted for an old cemetery. And other English and French placenames abound on all the islands. In St Vincent we have a Richmond, Argyle and Pembroke. It is often difficult to disentangle whether the location is named after the equivalent one in the UK, or if some titled gentleman.
As an aside, I find the UK’s titles perplexing, especially as a geographer. They never seem to live in the county or area from which they draw their title. For example, The Duke of Rutland Lives in Leicestershire; the Earl of Leicester lives in Norfolk; The Duke of Norfolk live in Sussex (where the Earls of Dorset live too); The Duke of Sussex will be the Prince whose father is also Earl of Chester, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall but he actually lives mainly in Gloucestershire. The Duke of Gloucester lives in Northamptonshire (but note for once this is also where the Earl of Northampton actually lives too!). The Earl of Huntingdon lives in Berkshire; The Duke of Devonshire lives in Derbyshire; Earl of Derby lives in Lancashire; The Duke of Lancaster is the Queen and she lives in Buckingham Palace, which is in Westminster, not Buckinghamshire. The Duke of Westminster lives in Cheshire, which as we know leads us back to the Prince of Wales who lives in Gloucestershire. The Earl of Carlisle, in Cumbria, formerly Cumberland, lives in Yorkshire; The Duke of York lives in Berkshire; The Marquess of Reading , which is in Berkshire, also lives in Gloucestershire! The Duke of Bedford lives in Buckinghamshire and the Earl of Lincoln apparently lives in Australia.
The Earl of Essex lives in Hertfordshire; The Marquess of Hertfordshire lives in Warwickshire; The Earl of Coventry, formerly in Warwickshire, lives in Worcestershire; and The Marquis of Bath, which is in Somerset , lives in Wiltshire
“The Duke of Rutland Lives in Leicestershire”. Ah now see, this one also almost makes sense. Rutland is sometimes part of Leicestershire – currently it isn’t, but it was when I was growing up. Anyway they’re right next to each other and you can’t easily see the join … 🙂
But yes. It is jolly confusing! 🙂
True – but the Rutlanders hated being part of Leicestershire!