W is for Women’s Institute
I love them. I have been entertaining the W.I. for about 30 years. Always polite, always welcoming, always refreshingly old fashioned when it comes to manners, etiquette and courtesy. I get quite ruffled when I hear people mocking them and saying words like jam, Jerusalem, and blue-rinse. In my (vast) experience with the ladies, I have found them to be always up for a laugh and always amazingly ‘with it’.
During the horsemeat scandle of 2013, I posted this on my blog nonnyjames.wordpress.com under the title ‘Dear W.I.’
Hands up if you’re fed up with hearing about horse meat.
Ah yes. I thought so!
It doesn’t bother me in the slightest because (hang on as I climb up onto my soapbox)…right I’m up there now…because I buy locally sourced meat from my local butcher. I also buy local veg when I can. And then, call me old fashioned, I go into my kitchen and actually cook an actual meal. (Hang on as I climb down from my soapbox).
I was doing a comedy after dinner gig for the lovely W.I. last week and suddenly launched into an impassioned rant about horse-gate. I said that maybe people will now start buying locally sourced meat from local butchers and maybe locally grown veg from local fruit and veg shops and then actually get in the kitchen and cook an actual meal. It brought the house down. Had to wait for the applause to finish before I carried on! A lady came up to me after the gig and said ‘well said – but sadly I don’t think this generation actually knows how to cook’.
W is for Who Am I?
So…I have the name that I was christened. Here enters the first problem.
I have never been called by my Christian name. Always by my nickname, Nonny.
I have been married and divorced more than once, which means that I have had various surnames.
As I didn’t like my married surnames, and being a professional entertainer and broadcaster, I kept Nonny (because it’s my name!) and adopted my Grandfather’s surname James. So I’ve been Nonny James for decades.
As I had various documents under different names, I decided to solve this problem with ‘operation consolidate’.
Having consulted a solicitor, I was told that I didn’t need to change my name by deed poll as I had been known as Nonny James for so long.
So my driving licence, passport, bank account, etc., have been Nonny James for a very long time.
I really should have gone down the deed poll route because I now have to provide a ‘paper trail’ to redeem some ancient savings (under my ‘christened’ first name and a previous married surname) to prove who I am!
Sometimes I just wish I was normal and uncomplicated.
Actually…That’s a lie!