So now I am off on a ramble about nothing to do with cancer or eating disorders because I am onto dogs and nicknames because of S's overnight email and the reply one from T (whose real name is C, but will remain T to me and S, just because.....)
I am the youngest of three children, traumatised and mentally scarred for life because Our Mother (henceforth known as OM) couldn't remember our real names.
My oldest brother is Timothy - a perfectly respectable name, which is often shortened to Tim, again perfectly respectable. My middle brother, Michael, has always been called Mick to the extent that, when he got married, I thought I had come to the wrong place when he was asked "Do you, Michael David Kenneth....". I am Charlotte, shortened to Sharlie.
OM called Tim "Tuppence" until the day she died and Michael, "Mickey" and me, "Mrs Moo". That is not strictly accurate. She often called us by each others names and would get very cross if, for example, I didn't answer to "Mickey".
Most often she called us by the dogs' names - in some cases, dogs long gone and departed some 20 years or so.
"Emmy, Betsy, Rosa, Clara, Fluff, Eliza, Amelia, Timothy, Michael, Charlotte" was what would come out when OM really wanted something. I think it was the only time she called any of us, dogs included, by our real names. Except Fluff, who was a rescue Jack Russell and we never knew her real name so she was always called Fluff.
Sometimes she would miss me off the end, because she had either run out of breath or was in danger or forgetting what she wanted somebody for. So I felt miffed because I was left out. My brothers, on the other hand, got called by girls' names AND were expected to respond.
OM didn't confine this to her children. She liked to spread it around to her son-in-law. HWISO's real name is Christopher - Christopher George when he says something outrageous - Chrissy to all the women and girls, Chris to the men, Chrissy Crumble to OM.
Sadly, it is a trait she has passed on to her children. Timmy Tuppence nicknamed Emily "Em Mem Swem Bem" as a baby - it has stuck. Georgina - Georgie Porgie and all that. His own children are, I am sure, totally uncertain of what their real names are and the youngest grandchild, Alice, shall forever be known as "Little Alice" despite the fact that she is really tall!
Talking of dogs, as I was in a vague hand waving way, I should feed and walk them - or rather feed and walk the labs and then gently tempt Pirate from his cosy nest with a Dentastick and throw him outside for a pee, before he gets his biscuits......