Where Did You Come From? Where Did You Go?

I’m starting this post with a smile on my face, as I stole the title from Cotton-Eye Joe. Now I never thought I would do that, but at least it’s appropriate for my topic of discussion! Earlier this week, I joined a writing class at the town centre near where I live (I don’t know I single guy my age who would join such a thing; then again, I don’t have any friends who want to become journalists). The ice-breaking activity was to write my full name down on paper and state what each name means, where it came from etc. Simple, yes, but it really got me thinking – how much meaning and history lies behind our names? What hides behind those names that we say near enough every day?

Now for poor Cotton-Eye Joe, his name doesn’t exactly paint a great picture of himself (Yeah…  it’s not just the ‘ultimate redneck song’). Names are a crucial part of today’s society. They help to make a first impression, to define yourself as a person and make yourself known to others. Personally, my name is just something that I write to fill in forms and introduce myself to others – but there is a lot more behind it than that. I’ll show you my full name and tell you how it reflects on me as a person: Adrian Charles ‘Peter’ Horan.

Adrian quite literally means ‘From Hadria’, a place who’s name was borne by the emperor who had this built in his reign:            

Yeah, he was pretty powerful. Charles has been the name of numerous kings and princes throughout history (there’s even a prince alive now who’s called Charles. He is Her Majesty’s son, no biggy). Peter is my Catholic confirmation name, which I chose because even though he did wrong against Jesus, he was always close and faithful to him. Horan is one of the most common Irish surnames to date. To sum up, I’m a powerful Irish Catholic. Well… not really, but it’s not something people would guess when you look at me and ask me what my name was.

My last name is something which tends to surprise people, because not many people even know I’m part Irish apart from my close friends. I’ve always been primarily English – I speak with a Yorkshire accent, I love British food and I love Doctor Who (If you don’t like Doctor Who, then you might need to consider doing so. It’s ‘amazeballs’, to quote one of my past articles). But there is a part to both me and my family that wants to embrace our Irish heritage. My Dad is the Irish-bred member of the household, and it has certainly rubbed off on the family as we have grown up. We have a ‘FECK’ reg plate hanging above our kitchen door and there’s an ornament in our garden holding a Magners bottle. ‘Nuff said, really. Ireland’s my favourite place in the world; I have travelled with my family there umpteen times and I always want to go back after each visit. I’ve always wanted to embrace my heritage (I’ve finally perfected an Irish accent being constantly around my Dad = win), and I think it is important that we all should. Names are not just something we apply to ourselves. They are a reason to delve into our past and explore what makes the history of ourselves. Hopefully this has inspired my readers to do the same, or to listen to Cotton-Eye Joe for old times sake? Heck, why not do both?

And for all you Horans out there (or just anyone who was interested, really) here’s a picture of my family crest. It’s something to be proud of!              

Go Fourth and Multiply

Ohhh the magical world of science. My parents asked for one, just one more child so that my older sister Naomi could have a play-friend. But the big man in the sky was feeling generous that day, and decided to give them… *dramatic pause*, three babies!

That’s right readers, for those who don’t know (mainly the blogging community, I’ve not really shared this fact with you, apologies), I am one of a set of triplets. With an identical twin brother in that set of triplets. To sum up, my Mum and Dad basically hit the jackpot on the genetic lottery. I tend to take that fact for granted, but me and my class were having a chat about myself and my brother today and I came to a conclusion. Multiple births rock.

Despite Mum reminiscing about the constant back-pain problems, and a reduced ability to walk carrying three babies, she always tells us that having triplets changed her life. Now whether that’s for better or for worse I’m not sure; but personally, having three restless babies in close proximity 24/7 wouldn’t be my ideal cup of tea, but we all have different preferences. A lot of my friends really don’t know how she managed to constantly monitor three little rascals, but from her perspective we didn’t seem all that bad. It’s the stories she told that makes the idea of raising multiple children that less scary; whether that’s how my brother Anthony would spill chocolate down his face and become ‘The Chocolate Monster’, or how my sister Olivia would team up with Naomi and dress up our cat in numerous baby’s accessories (why on earth my cat agreed with such a thing, I’ll never know).

Now for anyone out there who was part of a multiple birth, you can agree with me when I say that personally it doesn’t seem all that amazing; but I always forget that multiple births are a rare event. Sure I’m used to it, but whenever I meet new people and tell them I have two siblings the same age as me, it’s as if I’ve just told them I secretly have superpowers (I’m still waiting for the day when I can tell someone that!). But it’s even better when I’m with my siblings, the conversation tends to go a little something like this:

“Excuse me, but are you two twins?” “Why yes, yes we are… triplet’s whilst we’re getting things out in the open.” “WOW that’s amazing! But… bless your poor mother!”

It’s kind of become a routine with the three of us, and it makes me chuckle each and every time we say it. Yet, even though we’re triplets, it’s the concept of twins that people ask the most questions about. Any twins out there can back me up on this, but you tend to get this series of questions. 1. Who was born first? 2. Are you like, psychic? Can you read each others minds? 3. If i punched twin one, would twin two feel it? 4.Who’s the evil one? It becomes slightly tedious, but you’ve got to answer these questions – it’s standard twin procedure! Any multiple birth child who has an identical sibling knows that you’ve got to make the most of your awesome identical gene order. You can have a ton of fun, whether it’s swapping names for photo day, swapping classes, finishing each others sentences, heck, even having alternative dates with the same girl –  make the most of being a multiple child. We’re a special breed.

It may be a slim possibility to be a multiple sibling? But wow, I’m glad I’m that 1 in *insert figure here*, because I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s pretty neat.