Monthly Archives: August 2008

Silly Surnames Continued

Following my recent witterings about Finnish and Latvian names, thank you to Laurence for sending me some Danish surnames.

They include Mrs Pipe Pond, Mr Blotch Castle and Mr North Twig.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, they didn’t really bother with surnames until 1811, when Napoleon made them a legal requirement. The Dutch thought this was just a short-term thing, so they gave themselves comedy names such as Mr Naked, Mr of the Pants (van de Broek) and Mrs Seldom at Home (Zeldenthuis).

The English seem particularly prone to silly combinations. At university, I personally knew someone called Annette Curtain. And I’ve also uncovered the following (real) names – Gaye Barr, Rich Bustard, Al Fresco, April Schauer, Hazel Nutt, Daisy Dog, Pebble Heaven, Dwaine Pipe, Paige Turner, Halloweena Coffin, Crystal Ware, Donald Duck and Debbie May-Dye.

I do like a good double- or triple-barrelled name. Prince Charles has a friend called Tiggy Leggge-Bourke, whose sister married a Captain Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax. Prince William has a friend called Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. Let’s hope she doesn’t marry a Vane-Tempest-Stuart or a Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby.

As you know, I’m single-barrelled myself, but I’m actually vaguely related to the Montague-Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzies (via the de roos Normans on Mum’s side of the family).

However, as far as I know, I’m not one of the Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusises or Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenvilles.

As for Mr Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet, well – good luck to him.

Me with some of my de roos Norman relatives


Riviere development, looking quite nice a year on

new weir near Hertford Lock

my pet swans

London Limpics Limpness – Our Fabulous Handover Show

‘It’s very proud for London. Very proud for myself,’ squeaked David Beckham ungrammatically.
Becks had come to Beijing to kick a football in a stilted fashion from the top of a London bus. He was joined by Leona Lewis – without doubt the dullest person in the UK – looking frightened on top of a pole, and an elderly gentleman who was once in a rock band. Meanwhile, inane ‘street’ dancers thrashed around randomly with umbrellas.
The bus then turned into a sort of privet hedge, as they played a horrific dance remix of Greensleeves.
The Chinese should have awarded the whole shambles an Olympic gold medal for synchronised stereotyping and then invaded the bus, depriving its occupants of all human rights – especially the right to mess up on stage for eight minutes in front of a worldwide audience of billions.
Enter Boris, with his hands in his pockets, getting tangled up in the Olympic flag and doing a comedy salute.
It was seriously disturbing. If you watched Mary Poppins while suffering from the latter stages of dementia, this is undoubtedly the sort of thing you’d experience.
As Chinanews so eloquently put it:
A big red double-decker bus ran into the Bird Nest and moved around the Stadium. A long guitarist rose through the stage and there was a pause.

Cute Coot

The coot family who live on the weir have finally had a baby, and I’m pleased to say it’s doing very well.


Congratulations to Michael Phelps on his record-breaking eight golds at the Limpics. As a big swimming fan, with a bit of (amateur) competing behind me, I’m very happy for him.
Phelps facts
He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when he was nine
He used to be scared of putting his face in the water
His Mum’s a teacher
He’s 6’4, with a wingspan of 6’7
He has size 14 feet
He spends 2-5 hours in the water every day
His middle name is Fred
His nickname is Gomer
He likes rap music
He has a pet bulldog called Herman