It happens almost every time I go to take a look at what’s happening on Pinterest.
As my eyes scan the page they fall on that name.
As soon as I came across her, I simply had to click “follow”. Fortunately, she pins some rather interesting pages and it’s clear that we share some common interests.
Recently, though, she’s been pinning country cottages just like those down our lane. I can’t get excited about those!
I’d like to know more about her, so I find myself looking at her other boards, wondering about her interest in fashion, her age and lifestyle. I’m a bit spooked by her, to be honest. Because for the first 27 years of my life, I was Gillian Boyd.
It’s a fairly unusual name, I thought; well, at least, I’d never come across another until now. Growing up in Hull in the late 1950s/early60s, I don’t think I even met another Gillian, let alone a Boyd I wasn’t related to. I think the first clue that I wasn’t unique was when I received my first driving licence and noticed I wasn’t xxxx-01 but xxxx-09 or something.
We get attached to our names though, don’t we? Gillian Boyd still trips off my tongue easily, even though I have not been generally known by either name since we’ve been married. But my attention is immediately caught by the sound of “Gillian!”, spoken in that same tone as my Mum would use all those years ago. Because somewhere, underneath the layers of identity I’ve acquired along the way, beneath Gill and Gillie, Mrs Thomas and Miss Boyd, the original Gillian Boyd is still there, just the same as she always was.
But it’s not me.
I realise I could google her. I think I have identified which Gillian Boyd has created the pinterest board I follow, because needless to say, there are at least half a dozen others out there. But somehow, it’s sufficient to settle into an easy peace, secure in the knowledge that she’s fine; that she has no more of a monopoly on the name than I ever had and that she’s using the name well. Because it’s a fine name, after all. I don’t think I shall want to use it again regularly, so I don’t mind that she does. It’d be a shame to waste it.
I’ll still do a little double take when I come across it, though.