Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What's in a name?

It's all very well being given the luxury of choosing your own name but it's far less angst-ridden if, like at birth, you are given one by someone else. You know, like by your parents. I know that some of us grow up hating our names but not many of us actually go to the effort of changing them. After a while, you seem to grow into your name(s) and no one can think of you as being called by anything else. Yes, I know that various expletives can be flung your way and sometimes they stick but I'd like to think that those are much less permanent and, anyway, not everyone (I hope) thinks of you in terms of those expletives. I suppose you could ask someone else to choose your blog-name but that would be a bit like asking someone to name your child or pet - yes, a little bit weird. Well, if not just plain weird, certainly not a good indicator of any form of self-confidence and/or originality.

Choosing a blog-name is a bit like choosing a nickname and absolutely nobody does that - a self-chosen nickname would never work! So, if choosing a nickname won't work, why will choosing a blog-name work? Ok, I think I may be mulling over this just a tad too much but you are probably getting the idea that, for me, choosing a blog-name can be a bit fraught.

Does it suit me?
Do I suit it?
Will I always suit it?
Is there a better name?
Is there someone else out there called by this name?
Does it show a singular lack of imagination?
Etc, etc, etc.

Having registered this blog-name over a year ago and having thought about it from time to time, I should almost be used to thinking of myself as the Reluctant Nomad. But, it's only now that the name is really out in the public domain that I will have to start identifying with it properly. The name does suit me and my circumstances so it's not as if I've suddenly decided to arrive at my next job calling myself Cecil Onanism de Montezuma or something equally unlikely. But, I can't help thinking that there may be other names that are better suited to me. 'Head in the Sand' springs to mind or something similar, like 'Ruminations of an Ostrich'. Other names, probably even less flattering, like 'When does this Mid-life Crisis End?' are also hovering in the background. I'm sure that I could think of lots more - I just won't bore you with them right now.

Yes, yes, I know, before long, this identity crisis will be long-forgotten and I will become a fine upstanding member of the blogging world (blogosphere?), proud of my chosen name. But, it does sort of sound/feel a bit like Troubled Diva, don't you think? Mike's troubled, I'm reluctant, he's a Diva, I'm a nomad. I wonder if I copied him? It must have been subconscious. Well, if I did copy him, I hope it was subconscious, I really do - outright plaigarism is like daylight theft. Not good, not good at all. But, how will I know if I copied him or not, subconsciously or otherwise? I don't worry about all the taxes I owe (see reference to 'Head in the Sand' above) nor do I worry about the trail of broken hearts left in Nottingham. So, why am I worrying about this?

I hope that I sleep tonight. I hope that I will get used to this name.

Once upon a time....

....I was blissfully unaware of the world of blogging. Well, I wasn't totally unaware of it as I'd read an article on blogging a few years prior to my actually meeting a real live blogger but I'd not paid it much attention. Meeting Mike, he of Troubled Diva, that first real blogger, introduced me to yet another fix, the pastime of blog-reading, skipping from one blog to another, and forever expanding the number of blogs I tend to visit on a regular basis. So, there were a few years of innocence before getting caught up in the addiction, a bit like the years in between hearing about dope and actually starting to use it.

Now, depending on your views on addiction, Troublesome Diva has to be regarded as one of the best introductions one could have to blogging. The long boring days at the office were now alleviated by reading Mike's blog, other blogs and blog-jumping - I started neglecting all those important personal emails and phonecalls, let alone the more boring stuff like actual work. I was hooked! But, at that stage, not hooked enough to actually want to start my own blog. That only happened months later, again, as the result of Mike's equivalent of handing out 'sweeties' at the school gates. He went on a few weeks holiday and asked a few 'local people' to guest on his blog.

A bit like now, starting to write on Troubled Diva was slightly daunting but I soon got into the swing of things and, before long, was having a whale of a time. Towards the end of my time as a guest-blogger, the rest of the guest-bloggers decided to meet up. Apart from Bob, a friend of Mike's, I'd not met any of the others before. In fact, Mike had not met any of them either, that is, besides Bob and myself. And so started a great friendship with Miss Mish, and a rather intimate relationship with the best bar in Nottingham, George's, a place that, sadly, no longer exists. I'll be sure to 'resurrect' George's in one of my posts as it was marvellous fun, a source of great amusement, eccentricity and many friendships.

Once Mike was back and the guesting ended, my writing outlet ended (you can't count dry accounts of how to migrate data as writing!) and, with the enthusiasm of the newly converted, I set up my own blog. One of my parting shots on Troubled Diva was a veiled threat that the world of blogging hadn't seen the last of me. Well, apart from setting up the site, that's what it remained, a veiled threat. It's taken over a year for me to actually post something, this being it. In between, I left Nottingham, spent a bit of time in Brussels and Southampton, a few months in Cape Town then landed up in Nottingham again. In the last few weeks prior to my leaving Nottingham last week, several drunken conversations with Mike and James aka Argy Bargey, got my mind thinking of Reluctant Nomad again. The current enforced 'sabbatical' in deepest, rural Surrey, ie London commuter belt, was the last straw - the veiled threat has become reality.

So, here it begins......