Thing #101: Change my name IN PROGRESS

Neale is my married name, but having been divorced now for near four years (and separated for five) I've decided it really is time I changed it, hence including it on my list. I don't feel I deserve the name Neale; in fact I don't feel like a Neale, full stop. I guess I've only held onto it because I'm known in business as Alison Neale and I've been worried about losing that recognition – plus, of course, a change in name will involve getting a new passport (quite expensive!) and doing loads of paperwork. Agh.

But never mind all that, I've decided to change it, and change it I will. The question is, what to change it to? I could go back to my maiden name, Thompson, but I've always felt the combination had too many “son”s in it, and was a bit of a mouthful. And also lots has changed for me over the last few years, and I don't actually feel like I am that person anymore.

Yesterday I was mulling it over, as you do, and I had a flash of inspiration. How about Alison Cornelius? See, my great grandfather was Cornelius, as was his grandfather. They were both full Romany gypsies and I am proud of my gypsy roots … What better way to remember them than by taking one of their names?

Names are such emotive things. I could take my gypsy ancestors' surname but Smith just doesn't appeal to me. Someone suggested I take my mother's maiden name but for various reasons I'm sure she would agree with I wouldn't entertain that idea. Likewise the name of my children (their father's) is not in contention. And Cornelius hasn't gone down well with everyone – my kids, in particular, don't seem at all keen – but I really Iike the way the name sounds. So I'm going to think on it for a while, and see how I feel in a few months' time. I'll keep you posted!

 

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