Welcome to my blog, thank you for calling in.
I’m Louella, which is an unusual name here in Britain. My parents chose it because;
They watched too much television. The name is American and was the name of an episode of a detective series called Banacek, starring George Peppard. According to family legend, mum watched the episode in 1966, late at night when pregnant with me. Eventually she went upstairs to bed and told my dad that she had chosen the name if the baby was a girl. My dad, being a dour northerner, allegedly said “What the heck are you saddling the poor bugger with a name like that for.” Mysteriously though, according to the internet none of this is true as Banacek didn’t air until 1972, so my name didn’t come from that. As both of my parents are dead I cannot verify any of this. Apart from the fact that they definitely watched too much television.
My parents believed that if you had an unusual name you would have an unusual life. I like to think I’m an unusual person (along with billions of others) but wouldn’t say that I’ve lived an unusual life. If anyone would like to help me live an unusual life then please, form an orderly queue. What I can say is that my name prompts unusual coincidences and helps me to build unusual networks and a broad reputation. This stretches right back to my misspent youth when the graffiti on the backs of toilet doors could never refer to anyone other than me and any of my misdemeanours were easily traced and attributed. I must also say that my name has also worked in my favour. As a teenager I knitted for Ethiopia during the devastating famines of the 1980s widely disseminated by Band/Live Aid (famines still happening!) I collected donated wool from my local voluntary service weekly and the following week returned freshly knitted monstrosities I liked to think would become treasured garments keeping generations of fly blotted children warm at night. However, 25 years later, the woman who gave me the wool and stifled laughter when I handed over my dreadful efforts, recognised my unusual name and gave me a job when I badly needed one.
My parents wanted anyone who would meet me in the future to have an easy icebreaker in the form of the phrase “That’s an unusual name.” I am sick to death of this phrase. Yes it is nice and no I am neither black nor Welsh. Nor am I the bastard love child of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald or descended from slaves in the deep south of America. I am from Yorkshire and saddled with an unusual name because mum was having a breakdown when she chose it.
The name does have a positive side though because once you start listening you can hear my name in lots of songs, such as Summer Nights from the musical Grease, “louella, wella, wella, umph, tell me more, tell me more,” Or the delightful “Everywhere you go, always take Louella with you” as in Weather with you by Crowded House. Believe me, I can while away a good amount of time pondering on my name.
And here I come to my alter ego- PONDERWOMAN!
She has always been locked away inside me but has only recently been outed. She was revealed on the MBA that I am studying for part-time at my local university. I am lucky enough to get day release from my full-time job. One of last year’s biggest study modules was Personal Reflection and Reflective Practice. I have always enjoyed writing but never found a voice that I am happy with. This module helped me to focus on and define my personal needs and values. What surprised me was how important writing was to me, even though I followed my parents by watching too much television whilst still knitting badly and NOT WRITING.
What I realised under this rigorous reflection was that I am PONDERWOMAN. I have spent many years thinking and pondering and constructing my own world that is dark yet lasered with humour. Sadly, I have also spent years hypnotised by the television habit instead of being creative and that has kept Ponderwoman imprisoned inside me. She was silenced by me and only I can speak with her voice.
So, Ponderwoman is released and on her maiden flight. Hopefully this will be alongside the discovery of style, humour and technique. Above all else I am seeking authenticity in myself and my writing. Ponderwoman stands for all of that and more. Maybe one day you will see her wearing her knickers over the top of her tights, flying lustily around the north of England, all boobs and authentic self on show. In the meantime, here is the work of Ponderwoman. Oh and by the way. I have turned the television off.