I just realised that if you Google me in search of this blog, you may get a page on Writers Weekly which indicates that I have contributed to its Forum six times since 2004.
Except that I haven’t - it's a coincidence. The author, it seems, is one Heather Stimmler-Hall. Ms Stimmler-Hall, although she has a far more distinctive name than mine, has a rather similar profile – travel writer, lives in France, (it doesn't say Everton, but, being from Phillie she could be an Eagles fan, which is as good) and uses the handle "rivierawriter". Since it seems she has been using it for four years to my three, she probably has more right to it than I. There are other differences: her picture’s a give-away for a start. It’s as much like me as Dorian Gray’s was to him, and it’s clear to even the most visually challenged that this is no TJ in disguise.
So I hope we can continue to enjoy our respective places in Blogland and that she’ll trust me not to bask in her fame or accept any work that is rightfully hers. I just wanted to say I chose the name innocently because that’s where I live and what I do sometimes.
Talking about distinctive names, Joan Hunter-Dunne died last month. She had obituaries in all the posh broadsheets; The Times (OK, not a broadsheet now, but still posh), The Sunday Times, The Guardian and even a leader in the Telegraph. What did she do? Well – er, nothing really. In her 92 years, her only claim to fame was that she worked in the same government office as a future poet laureate, John Betjeman, who, without knowing who she was, heard her name and, enchanted by its hypnotic, train-like ca-diddly-dah metre, wrote a poem that began “Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn, furnished and burnished by Aldershot sun”.
Philip Larkin was much impressed. and Joan might have gone on to even greater literary fame, had she not ruined it all by marrying a man called Jackson. “Joan Jackson” didn’t have the same cachet - or metre - so that was the end of her career as a muse. It could have been worse – she might have married someone called Jones. Not a name that's going to get you an obit. in The Times.