There are usually one or two names that remain in the teacher's memory for ever. Usually - but not always -they are the names of troublesome children. I'm sure I taught plenty of angelic Stephens during my teaching career, but one or two naughty ones mean that I get a certain sort of feeling when someone is called Stephen. Sorry about that any Stephens reading this!
I wonder to what extent what we call our own offspring influences what they become. Probably not at all, but I think it might influence how other people view them sometimes. In our village there was a family called Dickinson. They had six sons and desperately wanted a daughter, so tried one last time - and got a little girl, very much loved. But what did they call her? Lucy Ann! Do you think they realised that her initials spelt LAD?
My best friend when I was very young was a girl called Pamela Green. As she got older she became very embarrassed by her name being P. Green.
Once, on holiday, I met the sweetest, most charming and gentle lady who seemed to sail through life with a smile. Towards the end of the holiday I found our her Christian name was Venice (she had, apparently, been conceived in Venice!) Was it coincidence that her name evoked images of La Serenissima?
When I was young an elderly Great Aunt used to visit my grandmother. My brother christened her The Bede. At the time I was really into history and thought of The Venerable Bede and imagined her tall, gaunt and austere. What a surprise to meet this little round lady like Mrs Bun the Baker in Happy Families. When I asked my brother why she was called The Bede he pointed out that he meant BEAD - she was round like one!
All families must have anecdotes about people and events in the past. Three of my bits of family folklore concern LUKE, the brother of Bead. I never met him, in fact I think he died before I was born but here are our three bits of lore - they could well be apocryphal:-
My grandmother got a telegram saying "Come quickly. Luke dying." She caught the bus to his outlying village and as she walked down the street she saw him digging the garden. He had made a speedy recovery.
He once called on his bike to see my mother and she gave him a jam pasty she had just baked for his tea. He was so busy chatting that he tied it to his bike saddle rather than his carrier and promptly sat on it.
He was an agricultural labourer for the same farmer throughout his working life. He left school at 12 and always worked on the same farm. When he was 70 the farmer suggested it was time he retired and he is reputed to have said, "If I had known this job wasn't going to be permanent I would never have taken it."
I don't know whether they are true but I do know they have been passed down our family through the generations. And they have certainly influenced my first impressions of anyone I meet called Luke!