What’s in my name

Fiona and Tony have both discussed their names- and I had an interesting time contemplating my name and its variations over the years.

My first name comes from my mother’s youngest sister. There is a 13 year age gap between the two sisters and they are quite close, as my grandmother was quite unwell after giving birth (it was baby no 6 and there was another one after my aunt) and my mum looked after her baby sister. Mum had always said she would call me Stephanie. As it happens, I get along famously with my auntie Stephanie, who lives in Enniskillen with her husband Gerald and nearby to my granny Kitty.

I get Steph a lot from my friends and my work colleagues. I do prefer to be on a Stephanie basis with my dentist and my doctor though, both of whom are incredibly nice. It was a real shock when the first doctor I saw in Ballarat called me Steph- it was a sense of familiarity which was a bit disconcerting. I did forgive him somewhat as he confirmed in the same breath that I was pregnant :).

My middle name is Moya after my dad’s youngest sister- it’s a variation on the Irish name for Mary. When I hear my name in full from my parents I just know I’m in trouble, even at the age of 42. Having names from both sides of the family has been good, but I chose first names for the children which were their own rather than being named after a relative.

My maiden surname, McGlinchey is a mouthful, and for many it’s a hard one to say, and for nearly everyone, it’s impossible to spell. The only place where I haven’t had to spell it out is in Ireland :). The name is Irish, even with the Mc, with its origins from Donegal. It’s the name I use in online interactions and at work, as all my qualifications were earned in that name, and it is one I regard as my professional name. It is a pain to spell, but it’s distinctive and it’s a part of me I am reluctant to relinquish.

However, when Miss BG was born in 2007, in a fit of hormones I decided to change my name to my married name. So on my bills, on my drivers licence, and at the kid’s school I am Stephanie Cummings. No one calls me Mrs Cummings though- I am strictly first name terms  with all and sundry!

I’m also known as Mr BG’s wife, and Master BG and Miss BG’s mum. And I’m sure the cat knows me as the ‘big human who gets up early to let me out and feeds me breakfast’.

I have lots of names, but they’re all a part of me.

Huey, Dewey and Bookgrrl

Day 4 of Blogjune and my second meme- the first being my reading manifesto :).

Kate and Clare have already completed theirs and this is my turn.

Steph’s Dewey Decimal Section:

973 United States

Steph = 90568 = 905+68 = 973

900 History & Geography

Travel, biographies, ancient history, and histories of continents.

What it says about you:
You’re connected to your past and value the things that have happened to you. You’ve had some conflicted times in your life, but they’ve brought you to where you are today and you don’t ignore it.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com

Or how about this one?

Steph’s Dewey Decimal Section:

398 Folklore

Steph’s birthday: 4/27/1971 = 427+1971 = 2398

300 Social Sciences

Books on politics, economics, education and the law.

What it says about you:
You are good at understanding people and finding the systems that work for them. You like having established reasoning behind your decisions. You consider it very important for your friends to always have your back.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com

But this one is pretty cool

Steph’s Dewey Decimal Section:

004 Data processing & computer science

000 Computer Science, Information & General Works

Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.

What it says about you:
You are very informative and up to date. You’re working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com

All of them are apt in a way- I value my past and how it influences me, I try to be informative and up to date, and I find if I have a reasoned argument behind a decision, people will respond to that.

Go on and try it :).

7 Dirty Reading Secrets

A confession of my reading habits, inspired by kris wehipeihana

1. I will leave books anywhere in the house, with the book opened face down. This causes untold anguish and irritation from the other more mature members of the house who come across my book, and irritation from me when said members close the book and I lose my place.

2. If a book does grab me, I will suspend everything to read it, including all parenting, domestic and wifely duties. I read A Suitable Boy at uni, despite having several assignments due- I simply HAD to finish it!

3. I read all of the Twilight books, even though I didn’t get the whole Edward/Bella thing. And it pretty much confirmed they were crap.

4. I would read Mills and Boon books at the end of each semester when I was at uni to switch my head out of academic mode and into holiday mode.

5. I forget to return library books- a lot. In 1984, I moved from Ararat to Geelong and did not return a book I had borrowed from the Ararat library. Getting a library job has somewhat lessened the whole library fine thing…

6. I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, but I do read erotica and have since I was a teenager.

7. I am not a reading snob and will happily read anything, including the back of cereal packets!

I’ve got one word to say to you…

Pip from Meet me at Mikes has a 1 word meme on her blog. And I’m playing along!

1. Where is your mobile phone? Coat Pocket

2. Your hair? Bob

3. Your mother? Awake?

4. Your father? Breakfasting?

5. Your favourite food? Bread!

6. Your dream last night? Forgettable

7. Your favourite drink? Tea!

8. Your dream/goal? Balance

9. What room are you in? Office

10. Your hobby? Writing

11. Your fear? Bitterness.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Venice

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. Something that you aren’t? Asleep

15. Muffins? Banana

16. Wish list item? Cleaner

17. Where did you grow up? Geelong

18. Last thing you did? Commute
19. What are you wearing? Black

20. Your TV? Panasonic

21. Your pet? Tiger

22. Friends? Treasured

23. Your life? Topsy-turvy

24. Your mood? Mercurial

25. Missing someone? Yes

26. Vehicle? Subaru

27. Something you’re not wearing? Hat

28. Your favorite store? Vinnies

29. Your favorite color? Red

30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday

31. Last time you cried? Yesterday

32. Your best friend? Bart

33. One place that I go to over and over? Bathroom

34. One person who emails me regularly? Dad

35. Favorite place to eat? Home.


I’ve been tagged by Kate to complete a Handwriting Meme which basically entails writing on a piece of paper the following things:

  1. my name
  2. blog URL
  3. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  4. Favourite quote
  5. Favorite song (at the moment)
  6. Favorite band/singers (at the moment)
  7. Say anything you want
  8. Tag 3-5 bloggers

Sometimes I’ll write in my notebook when I’m on the train. It may be a idea for a blog post, or an outpouring of emotion about stuff, people or work. I write lists at work and at home and I have been known to pop a notebook into Master BG’s lunchbox exhorting him to eat ALL of his lunch- an occasion which left him somewhat embarrassed. Mental note- must do that again :).

My handwriting chops and changes all the time, from a jerky scrawl to a more rounded flowing script. The feeling of putting pen to paper is such a tangible and personal way of expressing how one feels in a way that a keyboard cannot convey. I have a collection of cards and stationery and notebooks which are ever ready for me to use, just in case. I don’t often have the chance to use them to send letters like I used to…

So I throw down the challenge to @gemmas1980, @shewgirl and @polyxena to continue!

Questions for a bookworm

Sophie from Her library adventures adapted these for a recent blog post of hers- these questions are the original questions for a bookworm

Imagine you sit in front of a fireplace. You read and beside you there is a cup with something hot in it. What would that be in your case: tea, coffee or hot chocolate?

If it were in front of a fireplace it would have to be hot chocolate. If I were reading at home at the kitchen table, it would be a cup of tea and if I were reading in a cafe it would be coffee. Funny how the situation can sometimes demand a different drink. Mind you, mulled wine would also be a contender to have in front of a fireplace, but I’m not sure I would be reading :).

If an author gave you the chance to rewrite or to change the fate of a book character, who would you chose?

Hard to say as usually the character development is logical and integral to the story- if a character’s fate were to change the character itself would also be fundamentally changed. I would have liked to see Ivanhoe end up with Rebecca over Rowena, but it wouldn’t have really worked with the story.

Did your parents read stories to you when you were little? if yes are there any special ones you remember the most?

My parents did read to me as a child, but I have a clearer recollection of the books I read, rather than those they read to me.  What I do remember is my mum telling me stories of her childhood growing up in Ireland and England while my sister and I lay in bed. There was the occasional story about fairies and leprechauns thrown in for good measure!

What do you like more the smell of old antiquarian books or the smell of new fresh ones you just bought?

I’m a fresh new book smell girl- the smell of musty mold does not do a lot for me. Having said that, my favourite bookstore when I was growing up in Geelong was Barwon Booksellers, a second-hand bookstore.

You get the opportunity to chose between wsecret talents: either to be able to make things come to life through reading them or the gift to read yourself into a book. Which one would you like to have?

Oh, definitely read myself into a book!

Do you have a favorite children’s book or a favorite fairy tale?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett- it was a Christmas present when I was eight years old. Still a lovely book.

Someone would talk to your friends and ask them to compare you to a book character. With whom do you think would they compare you?

Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- a girl who always wanted her own way and would kick up a stink if she didn’t. Or perhaps Miss Marple- a nosy lady who had a knack for understanding people’s foibles.

Tell me the name of a writer whom you would like to have as a friend.

Initially I thought Oscar Wilde or Jane Austen, Wilde’s witticisms and Austen’s acerbic nature may have been a bit wearing after a while. Kaz Cooke, Nikki Gemmell and Marieke Hardy would make fantastic friends.

You can hide in a written down world for only one night into which world do you escape?

I initially thought Narnia, but then I’d be spooked by all the talking animals…maybe a night in the Paris demi-monde of Anais Nin, or a wild party at Gatsby’s house?

Something terrible happens: you have to flee to an unknown place and all you can take with you are three books of all the ones you own. Which three ones do you put into your bag?

A desert island discs type of question, and one which had me perusing my bookshelves for quite a while, pondering. Finally the three chosen were

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- melodrama, romance and a brooding hero
  2. The little Prince by Antoine de St-Exupery- to remind me of the magic of childhood
  3. Macbeth- witches, treachery and blood and gore

Somewhere over the rainbow

The rainbow meme, with thanks to Fiona and Tania. I have kind of followed Tania’s example, with something about what the colour symbolises to me and favourite songs featuring the colour.


1. My wedding dress is red. The fabric doesn’t really crease, which is great, as I had orignally planned to elope with Mr BG and get married in Scotland. Wiser heads prevailed (namely my two brothers, who convinced me Mum would KILL me if I ever considered it) and I was married in a civil service in  a former Anglican chapel in the Dandenongs.

2. When I was in kinder, I used to paint exlcusively with red paint, as it was a safe colour for me. When I branched out into other colours, my teacher hailed it as a breakthrough!

3. I see red is one of the best Split Enz songs ever :).


1. I look hideous in orange, but the leaves in my street look gorgeous in that colour in autumn. I think that’s one of the reasons why autumn is my favourite season.

2. Orange is the colour of Unionism in Northern Ireland, so I’m not entirely comfortable with it. Having said that, you know if you’re in a Unionist street because they paint the kerbs red, white and blue after the Union Jack, rather than orange.

3. One of the first REM songs I knew and liked was Orange Crush.


1. The walls of our hallway and kitchen are painted a beautiful buttercup yellow, which always cheers me up. In the morning sunlight the front hallway is ablaze as light streams in through through the front door.

2. The juxtaposition of yellow with blue always reminds me of the kitchen at Monet’s house in Giverny, a truly beautiful place in the world.

3. One of the best songs from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is  Oh yeah by Yello.


1. It’s Master BG’s favourite colour and he chose it be the colour of his bedroom.

2. Green is the colour of my new (vintage) coat, and makes for a splash of colour in the black shades of a Melbourne winter.

3. It was only recently that I discovered that the Talking Heads cover of Take me to the River was written by Al Green.


1. My eyes are blue, which I inherited from my dad. Except from when I’m sleeping, they are usually framed by glasses, which I have worn since I was 10.

2. Our bedroom is painted a Brittany Blue (Haymes shade), which looks very nice against the white mantlepiece and wardrobe. I also have a lovely blue dish from Kate which was a gift last year when she came for dinner.

3. The vocals in Chris Isaak’s song Blue Hotel always amazes me.


1. I was the second person in my class in Grade 5 to graduate from a pen licence to a fountain  pen. My fingers were constantly stained with indigo ink in the latter years at primary school.

2.I don’t have a lot of indigo in my wardrobe, but a love indigo and white striped tops, which looks tres nautical!

3. I always associate indigo with navy, as In the Navy 🙂 (sorry, I am stretching it a bit!)


1. Every pot of violets which I have been given, I have killed, either by underwatering, overwatering or sheer stupidity.Which is a shame because I love their subtle fragrance.

2. I have never entertained the thought of naming my daughter Violet, although I do know a Daisy, a Rose and a Holly.

3. Here is a chance to indulge my prediliction for U2 and Ultra Violet (Light my Way)