Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Fobbing & Mucking
Today I visited the little village of Fobbing and drove through a little place called Mucking. It became a joke along the BB2B walk that the towns with names ending in -ing were also verbs. Places names like Wopping and Epping took on entirely new meanings. (http://rozsavage.com/2009/11/21/bb2b-day-2-getting-away-from-it-all/) So I couldn't help thinking about these places as verbs. They seem to be a bit more obvious in terms of potential meanings. It occurs to me that "about" both of these words can be added after both of these words to be a sort of command. Off can apparently be added to Fob to form a different kind of command. A FOB, where I come from, is usually a derogatory term used to describe a recent immigrant. Fobbing therefore could be what a person does when they imitate a FOB to benefit themselves in some way (i.e. a Japanese American adopting a thick accent to get out of answering someone's question). Fobbing apparently also has roots in the 14th century with regard to deceit, thievery, and smuggling. Interesting as there used to be a harbor at Fobbing. In fact, it was only after the 1953 floods that they built barriers and sea walls to keep the water out that this stopped being the case. I've done a bit of a search and other potential meanings for the name are that it was a place or small creek near people with a family name like Fobba. Same goes for Mucking. The funny thing about Mucking is that it is now the site of a large garbage dump. (This site will soon be capped and converted to a nature reserve.) The name came before the dump, though.
We approached Fobbing from the north and the gas flare at the oil refinery just beyond it is visible for miles. It was just before dawn and the flame was a great reminder that our artificial lighting doesn't hold a candle to the light generated by fire. We parked across from St. Michaels, a famous site involved in the Peasants Revolt of the 14th century. We walked down to Harbor Lane which used to lead to water and now leads to more houses and some marsh land for a better view of the refinery. We stood below the pylons and watched the gas flar as the sky brightened. A sliver of a moon perched just above the clouds and faded quietly into the distance as the sun made it's way to the horizon.