IT used to make me smile that once my Dad was a Grandad, he was only ever called that, even amongst his own children.

The baby grand-daughter is due this week and, as yet, nameless. If you don’t count bump, peanut or plug. The notion of ‘getting the name ‘right’ has been the topic of the day. Out and about we will probably all have heard a version of,

‘Chartreuse, gonnae you get aff that flair!’

Gone are the times though when family names were the deal. My four brothers had the same names as my uncles but it’s not always easy to be different. We’ve all heard how new parents, thinking no one is using Molly anymore, are faced with another ten Mollys come nursery time.

If my mother could have crow-barred in the name Mary into everyone of her children’s names, including the boys, she would have: almost all her girls have a Mary pop up somewhere. My own full title is Elizabeth Mary Magdalene, if you don’t mind. Names told you a lot about a person back in the day. I remember when folk moved out of the schemes into new towns, that’s when ‘exotic’ names like Adele, Stacey, Gary and Craig showed up.

When wee, I’d often skip off to pick blue bells, in the woods of the same name in Castlemilk, with my pal Hazel Berry.

I’m sure my mum thought she’d be teaching me Pagan rituals. Billy was the name of my first boyfriend. Who, although he didn’t go to mass, had my heart when he declared that the extra L in his name must be for Libby as the extra B in mine, was for Billy.

When I was a warm up girl for the programme ‘Scottish Women’ my party piece was remembering all the women’s names having just met them. I have to say, easier than you’d think. I’ve never met an Isa that doesn’t look like an Isa nor an April that wasn’t blonde.

I’m always amused by folk who refuse to go with the new name for something. I used to go the messages for an old lady who called all the shops their old names. She liked Massey’s, although it had since, been a Fine-Fare a Templeton’s, and a Safeways.

I love when a shops name has a story behind it. The posh West End bakery ‘Cotton Rake’ is allegedly a private joke on Rotten Cake.

My pal tells a funny story about a big Italian family in Hamilton where there were four sisters all called Mary. Only the oldest ‘kept it’ though, Mary-Louise was called Louise and Mary-Theresa, Theresa etc. The oldest started seeing a boy and when he called for her, on answering the door the father asked him;

‘Which one of my Mary’s are you after son?’

To which he replied,

‘Mary Agoabootwi’.

It stuck! She is now in her late sixties and is still called the very African sounding Mary Agoabootwi!

Well folks sad to say this is my last column. When asked at the beginning what I wanted to name this column I said,

‘Good Times’. I just hope you’ve had a good time reading it. I’ll maybe get to write to you again sometime. All the best to you and yours.”