Tuesday, 16 October 2012

What's in a name?

I was complemented yesterday on the Name of our house, by the workfriend who's son fed our animals over the weekend. But he wanted to know how to say it and what it meant.

Well, we bought 'Maes-y-Delyn' last year, moving in on 30th June. But we put in our offer a few months earlier, with an long settlement term as we were heading home for a holiday.
I say a long settlement term, for those not in Queensland, you may find is strange but most house sales have a 30 day settlement. Meaning from offer to exchange of keys can be as little as a month. Now to us this was an eye opener- as those I know who have bought back in the UK, it takes at least 3 months. So a 'long settlement' in Queensland terms, was average to us...anyway back on topic.

Having fallen in love with this beautiful place and having our offer accepted, we excitedly headed over seas for a month. Usually I find returning from a visit quite hard, but on this occasion we had much to return to. But we still wanted to make it or own. To put our stamp on it.

So we began discussing farms, and places at home that had inspired us and our choice of lifestyle and the answer seemed simple... we needed a name.

We begun with names of places we liked or had some personal meaning or story. But none of them seemed appropriate. So in true Welsh tradition we begun listing discriptions and features of the block and house. We had considered and English laguage name, given many of our visitors would be and most of our neighbours are, Australian. But it just didn't seem right... it just didn't have the same feel and we felt it woul be something unique to us; there are not that many Welsh people in this town (although there are a few).

Eventually we agreed on Maes-y-Delyn. And for the none welsh speakers, literal translates as is harp-shaped field/meadow.  It seemed appropriate given the unusual almost triangluar shape the overall land forms. And the boundary nearest the road does bow in a harp-like shape.

All Welsh place names have a literal translation. I am sure once upon a time they were drections ;)

So before we had set off on our holidays I had contacted a few plaque makers/ engravers. Enquiring as to costs of an authentic Welsh slate name plaque. Many were expensive, only used 'Celtic slate'; so no guarentee it was Welsh. Or could not guarentee production within the month we were home- I didn't think it was alot to ask, they had a whole month! And delivery to Australia for something of this size, weight and fragile was expensive. 

And then I found http://www.celtichousenameplates.co.uk/ that turned out to be in Pencoed, not that far from my home town.
Jonathan comes from a long line of Masons in the Brecon area and his hand crafted work is gorgeous! And he couldn't be more helpful.

And his craftmanship is still creating a talking point and is mounted with pride. Representing our touch of Wales in Oz.

And the name I use for this blog too. I think it will stick, am thinking of labelling some of my home made goods with it. Not in a commercial sense, but as a mark of what we have achieved. 

I hope there are other readers, bloggers out there with unusual or interesting names; either they have given thier patch or maybe inherted with a place. Or maybe how you named your blog? And what this name means to you. I'd love to hear from you.