Several years ago, when I was up to my eyeballs in small children and before I had internet access or a decent computer, one of my brothers dropped in with his laptop and said “Come on, we’ll set you up a hotmail account.”  I must have spent at least an hour trying to come up with a user name – I did a lot of gardening back then and was trying to come up with something with a favourite plant in it, but all of my suggestions had been used about 300 times already. Suddenly it came to me: I was a Jane Russell type, the dark-haired and smart mouthed opposite of the simpering blonde Marilyn Monroe I had seen in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes a couple of days earlier.

 I suggested it and my brother laughed for about 15 minutes, then typed it in and, lo and behold, no one else had come up with that particular moniker. I told my other brother and he laughed like a drain for about 30 minutes. Then I told my husband, who looked bemused, and my sister who wrinkled her nose and curled her top lip slightly and said “oh”; both are signs that I’m onto a good thing so I stuck with it.

I’m still the only Strop I know, and I’m  proud.

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