Blogiversary #7

Today, 30 May is the 7th anniversary of “Our Other Blog” , formerly “My Other Blog”

I started my blogging career a month or so earlier when I began the doll blog. This one came about because I was reading a lot of other people’s blogs and wanted to try writing challenges and write off topic. I decided very early that the doll blog should only be about dolls and doll related subjects so I didn’t want to use it for writing challenge posts. I realised that I needed to start a second blog. That’s why I called it “My Other Blog”.

I thought that I would repost the first thing I ever wrote for this blog. I have rewritten it slightly and added some pictures.

Daily Prompt: Say Your Name

People often comment on my first name, Vanda, because it is not a common name. Europeans I’ve met tell me that it is a variant of Wanda. I’ve been told it is a Polish name. However, when I googled it just now to see if I could find out a bit more another website ( said it is of Italian origin. That is a new one on me! Funnily enough, as  a child, I was sometimes taken for Italian because of my dark hair and eyes, especially when I had a tan.  What both versions seem to agree on is that it means “Wanderer” and originally referred to Slavic migrants. Well I do like to travel so maybe it was well chosen.

I am sure my mother knew little of this when she chose it, although it was from her that I first learned it was a Polish name. We have no Polish blood that I’m aware of. Both my parents were born in England and so were my grandparents except for my paternal grandmother who was born in Canada.

My mother had a particular reason for calling me Vanda though. On her mother’s side of the family girls names were often passed down through the generations. There were several Annie’s, May’s, Rosemary’s etc. Mum didn’t want to do that as it made family get together’s very confusing. She didn’t want me to have one of the girls names that were popular at the time either so names such as Susan, Mary and Debbie were ruled out. Finally, she wanted a name that could not be shortened.

She decided to look to fiction for a name as she was fond of reading. Her first choice for a daughter’s name was Bramble. She chose this before she was married but thankfully for me she married a man whose surname started with a “B” so she decided that it would sound odd and the child would be teased. If only parents today were so considerate. When she was pregnant with me she read a novel in which one of the characters was called Vanda. She liked that, so that was the name I was given.

Aged about 13 months

Mum’s first objective worked out. I have never personally met another Vanda which meant that I have spent most of my life explaining how to spell it and where it came from. Her second one was not so easy, especially after we moved to Australia where all names are shortened, or if they are already short, lengthened, as a matter of course. My school years were spent saying “No, I would rather you did not call me Van or Vandy.” I was sometimes called “Verandah” which was considered very amusing even though most kids couldn’t spell that either.

Me aged around 14

I like my name though. I like being a bit different and I have the spelling routine down to a fine art now. “Think of panda but with a “V”. Did I mention that “Vanda the Panda” was another school nickname?


One day perhaps I’ll meet another Vanda.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. I too was named for a fictional character and have, particularly in my working life, come across people from many cultural backgrounds, who claim their culture is the background of my name. We have given our children unusual names with very similar reasoning to your mother’s. It’s a bit scary, daring to be different and yet not wanting your choice to be a burden on your child. It sounds like your Mum did a great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is good when parents want to give their kids a name that is a bit different but I do think it ought to be an actual name that suits a person not the name of an object or some random set of letters and numbers as many celebs like to do . I feel that kind of naming is more about attention for the parents than that they think it suits the child.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It still baffles me that WP killed the writing prompts and photo challenges. Both were pretty inspiring and it made the community come together, read each other posts, and discuss interesting things.

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.