2 articles Tag celebrities

R.I.P. Bob Holness

I was saddened today to hear about the death of Bob Holness, better known for his role as the presenter of Blockbusters. He lived to the ripe old age of 83 and leaves behind a wife, three children and seven grandchildren. My thoughts go out to them on this sad day.

Just hearing his name brought back such a flood of memories, with Bob and Blockbusters featuring in some of the earliest snippets that I remember of my life. I have one flash of memory that is so tiny but must be from at least 25 years ago, as my Mum and Dad were still together. Mum and I were standing in our kitchen in the maisonette that we lived in, I believe it was a winters day and  Mum was cooking dinner, and Blockbusters came on the telly. Nothing special or outstanding about that, but it reminds me strongly of a time that seems like a lifetime ago now.

My Mum reminds me often of how I used to adore Blockbusters and how I could answer the questions even at a very young age. I remember adoring the programme and wishing that I could be a contestant on it as soon as I was old enough. I think, in a way, that’s where my thirst for knowledge began. It definitely sparked my obsession with Trivial Pursuit and as a child I was mad about general knowledge, choosing to stay in and answer quizzes made up by my Mum or Grandad rather than go out and play with kids my own age. Hey, I never said I was cool, okay?

Sadly, Blockbusters finished when I was 10, so I never got to be a contestant, but I’m still thankful for the entertainment and urge to learn that the show gave me.

Rest in peace, Bob. I’ll leave you with this…(skip to 1:02)

What’s in a name?

When I was pregnant with Sausage, I think I drove my husband a little bit mental with the name-choosing process. I pretty much ruled out any name which already belonged to anyone I had ever known, save for the potential of naming her after a relative. I also ruled out any names which gave her ridiculous initials, rhymed with anything which could be used against her (probably from years of being called Jayne the Pain/Bane/Drain by idiots with limited wit) or belonged to a celebrity who I found objectionable. I also ruled out any names which I felt may be prohibitive to her as an adult. Nobody wants to be treated by a Doctor or represented by a Lawyer with an overly twee name like Precious, surely?!

What I am trying to say is that we thought seriously hard about the name we gave her.

Which is why some people’s choice of name for their offspring really makes me see red.

My husband and I got married in the Maldives and on our way home, there was a kid on the plane, and it doesn’t help that he was an irritating devil-child with whom I was stuck in a pressurised metal tube for 11 hours, and his name was…wait for it…Skylash. Seriously.

I hope I don’t offend any of my readers, but I really feel that people should THINK about what they name their kids. Parents who choose certain names for their kids, just because they like it are utterly, utterly selfish, and deserve to be told such.

Let’s take Sarah Palin. Now, I know Palin bashing is a bit trendy at the moment, and I don’t give a shit about the crazy bitch’s politics, but she named her kids Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper. Aren’t those first two the names of classes taken in American high schools? I’m guessing she’s also never been to Bristol in England…if there was ever a place which you wouldn’t want to name your kid after, Bristol is high on the list.

I’m not going to do the whole “look at this list of ridiculous names that celebrities give their kids”, cause let’s face it, we’d be here all day.

But what is on the minds of these people, when they look at a tiny, beautiful, vulnerable baby and think “I know! I’ll name my kid Audio Science” (That’s Shannyn Sossamon’s son, just in case you wondered) Do they not worry about the bullying, the derision and the barriers that their kids will undoubtably face, because of their arrogance and their need to be different?

I know we can’t live in a world where everyone has the same name, and I wouldn’t want to, I enjoy and embrace diversity. But I think that when it comes to kids names, there is an extremely fine line between diversity and flat-out cruelty.

When we chose the name for Sausage that we were finally happy with, though it’s a traditional and old-fashioned name, we still received some opposition, people who thought she’d grow up to hate her name. And to an extent, I suppose I have to hold my hands up to a degree of that arrogance, the part of me that said “Well I like it, so I don’t care if anyone else does”. I guess that happens when anyone names a child, regardless of how popular or traditional the name is.

All I’m asking is that we at least give the kids a chance…you know?

I’d love to know where you all stand on this, do you think I’m being over the top, or do you agree? What is the strangest name you’ve heard? Have any of you given your kids out of the ordinary names, and faced adversity? Please comment and let me know!