Names define us.
We accord someone a half a name, and history the other half. And the combination of that reflection of our personality and our heritage is a story waiting to be unpacked, a life waiting to be lived.
I think that is one of the reasons a stroll round a churchyard is such a powerful experience. All that is left by the time we meet these people is a name on a stone.
Wandering round Norfolk we found Ann, the wife of this man, a book waiting to be written:
And an entirely different Norfolk community had a whole family based around this one:
We have been name choosing once again. One summer without a cat was enough; we miss Clive, and his catness. For her birthday, Maddie pleaded for a kitten. There were long involved debates before final approval: but on her birthday we put a deposit down on a timid quarter-Siamese tabbyish little creature.
Maddie named her Millificent. Millie for short.
Thing is, she was with her brother.
A ginger tom with huge ears and high cheekbones, he is a little bolder than she but they are inseparable. He chose us. We crumbled: he and his sister arrive, all being well, next Monday. If Clive strolls back in one day, the dog will not know what to do with himself.
Soon we will have to start calling ourselves Shrewsday Zoological Gardens.
This cat’s name came much more easily than Clive’s. Bernard Law Montgomery, the British Field Marshall who spearheaded the D Day operation and many other key moments of World War II crossed our screens as we watched television together.
This cat will be called Monty. We think the general and the cat look similar.