Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The return of Tony

A few weeks ago, water starting dripping through the study ceiling. We got roofers to replace some missing slates, which solved the problem, but there's now wallpaper hanging elegantly down from above our desks. We decided that we might as well redecorate the whole room and, having considered doing it ourselves, decided we wouldn't. There's so much stuff in the study that the thought of having it sitting round a spare bedroom while the job is being done slowly just didn't appeal.

Time to call Tony the Painter.

Long-time bloggy friends may remember him from a couple of years ago. He's a very nice Irish chap with a wonderful accent and good taste in radio programmes. He's also very slightly... how can I put this? - individual - when it comes to telephone calls.

I phoned him up, mentioned that he'd worked for us before and described the job. "What's your name?" he asked.

Since he'd consistently called me Mrs MacDonald (which isn't my name) I didn't know if there was a lot of point in telling him my actual name, but I did.

"Ah right," he said. "You live in Stocktonhall."

There isn't a Stocktonhall in Edinburgh but there is an area not far from us with a name that somewhat resembles this, so I agreed.

We fixed a time for him to come and look at the job. "That's grand, then," he said. "I'll see you then, Mrs Brown."

Nope. Nothing like my name. Though my maiden name was Smith.


  1. For some reason I always think of you as a Liz. So now you can be Mrs Elizabeth Brown of Stocktonhall.
    I was briefly Marjorie Braithwaite and have been called both Hilary and Frances by the man building our kitchen. I think I was going to be christened Francesca until a last minute change of heart. All quite different people.

  2. Why don't you try calling him Jock the plasterer or Tom the piper or other variations when he arrives to work for you and see how that goes?

    We always comment on the number of chaps who come here to work who have 2 Christian names ( one being their surname ) We even went so far as compiling a list to prove our point.
    Good luck Mrs . brown. ( this is getting tricky for me as I know your full proper name! )

  3. This is promising to be a very entertaining series on Tony the Painter. I hope he shows up at the right house to do the job. You will have to let us know what happens.

    We had next door neighbors who always called my husband Steve. That is not even close to his real name! We weren't sorry when they moved away.


  4. "Mrs. Brown you've got a luvely daughter....." [Herman's Hermits--maybe Tony the Painter sang with them, back in 1965?]

  5. You're sure he's not the builder from Fawlty Towers?

  6. We called a halt to doing our own decorating when we moved here, and have luckily found a delightful decorating team to do it for us.

    Our surname is a constant trial, it's nearly always mispronounced, except by Scots of course, and frequently misspelled - I sometimes think I wouldn't mind being Mrs brown!

  7. You have the most creative commenters Isabelle! I'm seeing more Tony posts in your future. I hope he shows up at the right house. ;-D

  8. I will accept anything when they do a lovely job. Show up timely, do a good job and I will not care what you call me! I always smother a grin when I am asked how to pronounce my last name--its exactly as spelled. No chzkt or any other multiple consonants to confuse. But everyone asks. I will say that I am related to everyone in the US who has this last name, so it is rare!

  9. I love Tony the Painter! Where I grew up, people were given some strange names, like Teacake Annie and Tommy Two Thumbs. When I was at university, another student thought my surname was Carrington-Meadowsweet. It wasn't. I've never been hyphenated.

  10. I wanted to say that Tony the Painter had obviously never read Dale Carnegie .... but then had a T the P moment myself . Was it Dale Carnegie ... or Hoagy Carmichael ?

  11. Oh, no! 8-) Can't wait for the followup to THIS one!