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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

His name was William John

but he was known to everyone as Jan. 
Cornishman thro' and thro' in thought, word and deed. When I knew him he was deaf in one ear and some thought him slow. He was anything but that; he took time to measure up what was said and if he needed to reply. Jan when you got to know him had a brilliant sense of humour and very dry wit.
Phoning him to say you were coming round to see him...he'd chuckle and reply...'no, can't do that'. Then say he was putting the kettle on and not to be late.
Born in a cottage in a small hamlet of but a few houses, he spent his life in West Cornwall, never venturing far (like a lot of folk round about). He never went far 'up country'. 

That part of Cornwall is isolated even for Cornwall. Folk in one village having fallen out with a neighbouring village avoid going there except if needs must.

Insular and isolated with a dialect broad Cornish...'pard', mi 'ansome, when addressing someone.
Entin' down as in hard, heavy thunderstorm rain.
Mizzle - mist and drizzle 
Fret - local weather when low-lying fog clings everywhere and everything gets soaked. Flights are suspended from the local airport and if it's bad enough the ferry stops sailing. Made worse as the fog horn sounds for days on end. The original local foghorn had a low rumbling sound that seemed to sink into your bones along with the rain and fog. But, if it went on long enough you eventually got used to it.
Emmets, Cornish for ants and used to describe the tourists.
Gusson - never as in no, really?

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