Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?
My mother and I both had the same middle name, Eileen, but for both of us it was placed before our given names. This annoyed me intensely as a child when schoolmates wanted to call me Eileen instead of Vanda. When I went to apply for my first passport and discovered that I would be Eileen on that as well because it was my first name I rebelled and changed the order of my names by deed poll. I actually think Eileen is a lovely name but I choose what I will be called.
People always comment about the unusualness of my name. In a decade of Marys, Janes and Susans mum wanted something more unusual and something that could not be shortened as she did not like diminutives. Vanda was a character in a book she was reading while pregnant with me so she decided that would be my name. At school I had to contend with the fact that nobody could spell it, being called “veranda” or “Van” (Australians shorten everything) or being told that my name was supposed to be spelled with a “W”. It is a Polish name similar to the German Wanda. Despite all this I refused to be called anything but my proper name.
Music or silence while working?
When I was younger I preferred music. Mum could never understand how I could do my homework with the radio on. Later I enjoyed music while working at the railcar depot as it made the monotonous tasks go more quickly. I got out of the habit later though as David was very fond of television and it was always on at home which meant I could not listen to music unless I wore headphones. When he went out I enjoyed the silence and I still do. I rarely listen to music now except classical music on the radio before I get up.
If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?
Well I do love my stuff and choosing three things would be hard. I’d have to say my dolls of course although narrowing it down to just three would be very hard. I think I would have to go for my childhood dolls Theresa, Christine and my original Sindy as I’ve had them more than 50 years.
The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?
- I will never smoke a cigarette
- I will never jump out of a plane
- I will never bungee jump
- I will never attend a boxing or wrestling match
- I will never attend a bullfight
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Both of my weekend visitors, Naomi and Allyson had to cancel last week but I didn’t really mind having three days to myself. I washed my kitchen ceiling, made a curtain for a friend in exchange for a jar of homemade jam, started reading “The Mayor of Casterbridge” and watched some cricket and motor racing on television.
This Friday Naomi is coming to visit and bringing with her a vintage dolls house that she just bought for me to photograph. I’m looking forward to seeing it as it is over 70 years old.