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QotD: The Name Game December 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 10:15 pm
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If you had to choose a new name for yourself, which name would you pick?

Oh wow – I guess this is where we fess up to some childhood fantasy we had.

I'll have to split mine into parts.

The first part is that my middle name is Madeliene. When I was a kid, NO ONE was called anything like Madeliene. I know these days that every second girl and her dog is called Madeliene, or something much more exotic, but back in the early seventies, living in a very small NSW country town, I may as well have bought a texta and written FREAK on my forehead.

The second part is that I had an afghan dog called Cleo. If you knew where I lived, you would realise how ridiculous this was. I grew up in central NSW. If you've seen the movie Australia it could look similar. Except Hugh Jackman wasn't shearing our sheep and my mother didn't look much like Nicole Kidman (thank god). The only dogs for hundreds of miles were australian sheep dogs. Kelpies. Tied to logs at night and used to round up hundreds of sheep through the day. But one day my father was driving home from town and he saw this dog running along the side of the road. So he stopped and opened the door to have a look at her and apparently she jumped in the passenger seat, sat up and looked at him, and said, so, where are we going. Dad.

This was our front driveway.


So of course we kept her. Because when it comes to animals my parents are pretty soft. And I loved her. We called her Cleo because she looked like she was always wearing freshly applied eye liner. But no amount of brushing was ever going to get her tangles out. I had to use scissors for that. Don't know how long she'd been lost but she was not a puppy when we found her.



And then we moved.

We moved from flat red earth to green hilly earth. I'd never seen so many hills. When we moved our cattle there, they wouldn't walk up the hills. They'd get to the base of the hill, look up at it, look at us, and say… are you fucking kidding me. You expect me to walk up that!

Now this was my driveway.


And the third part is that I was a runner. I was one of those people who just run. For no reason. I just loved running. And every afternoon I used to take my mangy stray afghan dog called Cleo, and I'd run over the hills. I used to run barefoot in the wind and the cold and the rain. And we'd run for hours.

And when we were a long way from home and it was getting dark, I'd imagine that we lived with a band of gypsies. And that they were back camped somewhere in their caravans doing gypsy type things, while we ran the hills.

And it was at that time that I would imagine that my name really was Madeliene. Because that was the only way I could ever imagine being able to be Madeliene. By being a gypsy and a bit exotic.

Of course now I'd never want to be Madeliene – too common.

Which doesn't really answer the question.

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17 Responses to “QotD: The Name Game”

  1. Waterbaby Says:

    We called her Cleo because she looked like she was always wearing freshly applied eye liner — what's the connection?Great story. Madeliene was not common when I was growing up either (dunno if it is now), and the only Mad. I've known around high school was rather homely, sorta scrawny, not too popular. Wonder sometimes what happened to her.

  2. cat Says:

    I'd hate to be called Maddie or Mad – people love to shorten names

  3. cat Says:

    lol – you're welcome

  4. kitty Says:

    You ran barefoot? Wow. I had an Afghan for a short time when I was about 8. She was black with a white diamond on her forehead, so we called her Star. It soon became clear that she would require more grooming and running than we could offer, so we found her a better home out of the city. Good dog, though. She was the best judge of character – she always knew instantly who she didn't like, and we usually discovered she was right in her judgment.

  5. cat Says:

    When I ran in carnivals and races I didn't have proper spiked running shoes so I just ran barefoot, so I had pretty tough feet.
    We never managed to get rid of all her tangles, and she was always out doing dirty messy explorations. She was very gentle.

  6. Design Shark Says:

    I love this post. And now, because of it, I need to go to Australia. You've mentioned sheep a lot here… How popular is spinning yarn? Is fiber readily available? If so, have you got an extra room? 😀

  7. cat Says:

    Well I'm not a spinner myself so its not something I know anything about. But there are definitely plenty of sheep here. Thousand and thousands of them. There would have to be wool laying all over the place. I'm hoping to have an extra room soon when my son leaves. They leave, but then they come back.

  8. Design Shark Says:

    Hm… If there is wool just laying about everywhere, maybe I could sleep in the cupboards with the secret soda cans? 🙂

  9. cat Says:

    yes, just ask one of my kids to find you somewhere – they know where all the best spots are

  10. Caprica Says:

    You tell such a great story, cat.
    I can't get the image of the indignant cows out of my head–though a lovely young girl running free as you did, dog at her side is quite wonderful to imagine, too.
    Australia's beauty seems endless–thank you for sharing this.

  11. cat Says:

    yeah, the cows were pretty unimpressed by it to begin with
    I was just thinking about Australia yesterday (the place, not the movie) – how we probably take it a bit for granted here.I was hanging out the washing and I noticed the gum tree in the neighbours yard, and it was late afternoon light shining. I just noticed the colours we have here. Strong colours, the blue sky against the green gum leaves and the red of the tree bark. It's a pretty cool little place.

  12. Caprica Says:

    Yes, when one lives in a place the familiarity can make you less aware–at for me that's how it is. That's why when I return to Canada each summerr, I'm struck by how wonderful it is–all over again.
    To me, Australia is this amazing, giant continent with all kinds of vivid sights as you describe and your photos show. There's sometimes wild sights and things and strange creatures–plus a lot of not-Americans. Very appealing.
    So should I spend US $10 to see "Australia?" 😉

  13. cat Says:

    Oh I don't know – I haven't seen it myself and will wait for it to come on DVD.
    You're better off watching something like Little Fish or Two Hands or even Looking for Alibrandi. They are a much truer representation of oz as it is today.

  14. Caprica Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions!
    I put them in my Netflix queue.

  15. Emjay Says:

    LOL … my first name was really uncommon back then and no-one pronounced it like mum & dad wanted it to be. Now – same thing – very common. I took that photo of you and Cleo – I still have it in a frame!

  16. cat Says:

    I have it in a frame as well – a funny perspex one that I think I made at school
    theres an old lady like that at the home – her name is jeanette which is pronounced jenette but the woman who works there said – but every one just calls her Janet – which seems ridiculous as they are two totally different names! I call her Jeanette though because I had a friend with the same name

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