Clara


Clara Oswald from Doctor Who

For all this time, I’ve been lamenting that there is no Clara Street in New South Wales that I can find. Surely this meant I was unimportant, amirite?

But with some encouragement from Ruben who was in the process of uncovering his own namesakes a few days ago, I discovered there is much more out there bequeathed with my first name than I knew.

It’s no tasty morsel, but it’s certainly better than being second to Santa.

Clara Space

Until recently ‘Santa Clara’ was the only other place I knew of that used my name, but do I mean the one in California or the one in Cuba? With Cuba’s Santa Clara in the province of Villa Clara, I’m more inclined to say the latter.

However it slipped my mind that there is a Clara Street within Australia after all, in South Yarra, Victoria. This street is not quite a single street, and more like two interconnecting ones with a bakery, Japanese restaurant, cafe, cinema and Indian restaurant nearby, as well as station and tram lines. Seems well served.

I would consider going back to Melbourne one day to check it out. Unfortunately last time I was there we were with a tour group which doesn’t allow for much self-exploring except late at night. But the city itself does have nice architecture, despite the weather resembling that of London, I hear. It’s okay, Sydney’s joining those ranks soon enough.

Clara, Ireland

On the subject of European cities, depicted above is a town called Clara (Clóirtheach or An Clárach in Irish) in Ireland, the 10th largest town in the midlands. It has a population of 3001, but there are some estates outside the actual town’s boundary which means this is in fact greater.

While fairly well served being an urban centre surrounded by mini-villages, you may need to travel some distance to reach hospital services. The only downside seems to be the town’s strong association with sport, though combated by the town’s similarly strong musical tradition. It’s on national route N80 also, which is an auspicious number so another definite plus!

Clara has a long history dating back to the mid-1700s though community habitation has been present there for much longer. In its time it has been under the influence of many influential figures — taking a leaf from the Department of Redundancy Department! One of these is Guglielmo Marconi who invented the radiotelegraph system — some of his experiments were conducted at Clara, with funding from a prominent local family.

Clara as a service

Interestingly there are also a few pieces of technology graced with my name out there. CLARA, or Common Language Resources and their Applications, is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network started in December 2009, and closing at the end of March this year (2014). Their research deals with language and modelling, you can read more here.

Additionally in an area which is closer to my interests: a powerful, full-featured 3D editor that runs in my — wait, I mean your — browser has been named Clara.io. While unknown why this name was chosen, it looks to be an interesting cloud-based program though far beyond my expertise!

Clara as a person

Better known Clara’s would be of course Clara Oswald, companion of the Doctor from Doctor Who launching her into instant fame, whether people necessarily liked her or not. Another is Clara (Lee) aka. Lee Sung-min, a Swiss-born Korean-British actress and model. Hard to argue with that grade-A smile.

There is even Clara Harris, American socialite, and present with her then fiancé when President Lincoln was assassinated.

Despite plenty of more influential and popular figures, I’m proud of those who give this name a good name, so to speak. I’m not always satisfied with my first name, particularly in combination with my last, as there are a mix of people with my exact name in both Hong Kong and Canada, more attractive, in better jobs, with more experience.

Regardless, I’m still the only one who bothered to register my-full-name dot com, and that’s at least something to be proud of.

Screenshot of Clara Oswald from the Spanish Doctor Who Wiki.
Photograph of Clara, Ireland by Sarah777 at Wikipedia.