I write to you to introduce my new website. The painful and elongated process of creating this website is chiefly in aid of promoting a book, which will concern the circumnavigation of the world that I recently undertook with my friend James. You might know about that already though – and in any case, as it stands, there isn’t much more to say on that topic – so I shall focus instead on introducing you to my blog, which fills the otherwise empty space of my author’s website. I have titled it Teediously, but more on that in a moment.
Whilst writing the book should be my main focus, it transpires it is in fact a rather challenging prospect, and so I have opted for the method of procrastination by way of preserving what is left of my sanity. The result of this will be the irregular and probably infrequent delivering of blogs to you, which may or may not be of interest. As to what they will concern, how often they will arise, and whether they will be worth their weightlessness in data… your guess is as good as mine.
In a way, this missive is a blog in itself, whose sole purpose is to justify the naming of this section of the website. So, without further ado, here we go.
In late 1991 I was bequeathed to parents suffering from a common case of chronic unoriginality, as evidenced in their decision to call me Tom. I don’t know what was so unexceptional in the bundle of screams and slime that they found before them that encouraged them to give it one of the most widespread names in the Western world, but Tom it was. Dick or Harry, I believe, would have been far more preferable.
In all fairness, Thomas is my father’s middle name, so I suppose the responsibility really lies at the door of his parents, my grandparents. But grandparents, of course, carry a charming air of innocence, whilst parents are to blame for more or less everything, and so for this careless christening they stand accused – albeit belatedly – of dooming their firstborn to a life of perpetual confusion.
Because there is no end to the ‘Tomming’ liberally tossed across playgrounds, over supermarket aisles and out of television screens; each time summoning a scramble of the twenty-odd Toms inevitably within hailing distance, like dogs to the rustle of a food packet, hoping it’s finally their turn. I find it a miracle to have thus far escaped serious neck injury from one too many snaps of the head toward the sound of my name, and I often wonder if chiropractor waiting rooms are chiefly comprised of Toms, and if for every new “Tom” called by the receptionist there is a succeeding chorus of gasps as the room spins a head to see if it was aimed at them.
The levels of farcicalness peaked when I arrived to my dormitory on the first day of secondary school – a state boarding school that went by the enviably unique name of Sexey’s. There I discovered that of the four in my room, three of us had had the misfortune to be branded Tom, and that there was another one yet just next door. As worldly eleven year olds we lamented the foolishness of our parents, and then set about sorting the matter with a sudden-found haughty maturity. There and then it was destined that my peers and teachers alike would know me by my initials: TDA.
For many, however, it was too arduous an affair for an appellation to have as many syllables as it did letters, and so for brevity’s sake I was soon stripped of an alpha and delegated two echoes, in order to be lengthened in letter such that I was shortened in syllable to just: ‘Teed’. One seldom has a say in one’s nickname, but this was one I was not displeased to be assigned. By and large it has served me well, the only notable exception being when in the company of French people, who tend to call me Didier (amongst other things, I have often suspected.)
Some years later ‘Teed’ would provide eponymous inspiration for the name of a blog in which I would post writings on whatever happened to arrive at my mind and alight at my fingertips. That my writing often zooms in on the most inane matters – perhaps you have noticed already? – in a way that could be appropriately described by the original form of the word tedious, makes this a devilishly clever play on words by my reckoning; and this suspicion is only heightened by the suitably tedious introduction I now find pouring from my extremities.
Nevertheless, it is my earnest hope and motivation that you enjoy reading such tedium as much as I enjoy writing it. This work, if it can be so grandly termed, is produced in the self-flattering spirit of the words of a book I never intend to quote again:
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
– Hebrews xiii, 2
Tom Dymond-Andrews, TDA, Teed.
(Not to mention Tee, Tommy Boy, Teeds, Tuh-Duh-Ah, and, reserved only for my grandmothers whom are mostly responsible for all of this, Thomas.)
If you think you might like to read more blogs, pop your email in below. There won’t be regular contributions, so this is the best way to know when the next one is posted.