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‘I’ve chosen Vladimir for my Confirmation name. After Vladimir Putin’

Sorcha ends up totally losing it with her: ‘You will not stort using it all the time’

I can hear Sorcha pleading with Honor in the kitchen. She’s going, “Dorling, please, do it for me?”

But Honor's like, "What port of in your focking dreams do you not understand?"

“I’m going to ask your father to come down here – maybe he can talk some sense into you.”

I grab my jacket and I perform my famous Ironmonger Act – I make a bolt for the door. Unfortunately, I’m not as quick from a standing stort as I was back in my rugby days and Sorcha manages to catch up with me when I’m only halfway up the hallway.


“Ross,” she goes, “can you please speak to your daughter?”

I hear Honor laugh – cruelly, it has to be said – then she goes, "Yeah, as if I'm going to listen to anything he tells me to do!"

I head for the kitchen anyway. I’m like, “What’s going on?” trying to make my voice sound tough.

Honor goes, “Oh my God, look at him – he’s terrified of me!”

Which is pretty much true. It’s just that she’s capable of saying such hurtful things.

Sorcha goes, “It’s three weeks until Honor makes her Confirmation. I’m trying to explain to her that now would be the ideal time to think about changing her name.”

I'm there, "Changing it? What's wrong with Honor Angelou Suu Kyi O'Carroll-Kelly?"

“Okay, do you really need me to explain that to you?”

Er, I need someone to explain it to me. It's cool, though, because Honor ends up doing it for her.

"She named me after Aung San Suu Kyi," she goes, "the leader of Myanmar, who has done nothing to stop the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in her country."

I’m there, “Is this true, Sorcha?” making it sound like my wife was somehow involved.

"At the time of Honor's christening," she tries to go, "Aung San Suu Kyi was a Nobel Peace Prize winner living under house arrest and – I believed – a strong female role model. And, yes, like a lot of people who supported her, I've been very disappointed by her silence on the terrible atrocities that have been committed on her watch."

Honor goes, “She called me Suu Kyi because she was basically virtue-signalling – and now she’s embarrassed by it.”

Sorcha’s there, “There are some beautiful names we could change it to – I’m talking about actual, genuine heroines. I was originally going to throw ‘Oprah’ in there as well. What about Oprah?”

I’m like, “Are we absolutely sure there’s no dirt on Oprah, though?”

Sorcha’s there, “Of course there’s no dirt on Oprah!”

“Hey, there was a time when you would have said that about this – I don’t know – Suu Kyi woman.”

Honor goes, “You can forget it. I’m not changing my name.”

Sorcha’s like, “We are changing your name, Honor, and that’s all there is to it. We’re going to sign the deed poll this morning, then I’m going to talk to the priest about making the alteration on your baptismal certificate.”

Honor goes, “Are you deaf as well as ugly? I said I’m not changing it.”

I'm there, "Sorcha, leave this to me," because there are times – I think we'd all agree – when what a child needs is the voice of a strong male role model?

“I’ll give you five grand,” I go, “if you agree to it.”

Honor’s like, “No.”

“Six, then.”






Sorcha goes, “Ross, will you stop offering her money? What kind of message are we sending our daughter if we have to bribe her to do the right thing?”

A very useful lesson, I would have thought.

I’m there, “Honor, I don’t understand why you won’t just take the moo and sign the form. Would you do it for ten grand?”

She goes, “I wouldn’t do it for a hundred grand. Because I want to see my so-called mother’s face when they read out my full name in the church. You see, that’s what she’s actually worried about – being embarrassed in front of all the other mothers.”

Sorcha’s like, “I just don’t want it to cast a shadow over the day.”

"Hill! Air! You just don't want the other mothers whispering about you behind their hands. Which they definitely will, by the way? No, I actually like the name Suu Kyi. I think I'm going to stort using it all the time."

Sorcha ends up totally losing it with her. "You will not stort using it all the time," she goes. "As a matter of fact, I'm going to ring the school this morning and tell them it was a misprint –it should have said 'Suzy' but the registrar obviously misheard me."

But Honor – cool as the proverbial fish’s fart – goes, “Anyhoooo, you’re going to be embarrassed anyway when you hear the Confirmation name I’ve chosen.”

I can tell from the sneery way she says it that it’s not going to be ‘Oprah’.

I’m there, “Okay, what name are you picking?”

"Vladamir," she goes. "After Vladimir Putin. "

Sorcha laughs. She’s there, “See, I know you’re just saying that to try to shock me. They won’t let you take Vladimir because you have to choose the name of a saint.”

Honor gives her one of her evil smiles and goes, "Vladimir the Great was a saint. He, like, ruled over loads of Russia about a thousand years ago. He's venerated by the Catholic Church. His Feast Day is the 15th of July."

I whip out my phone and Google the dude.

I’m there, “She’s telling the truth, Sorcha. Look, there’s a whole thing about him on Wikipedia. It looks like we’re going to have to accept it.”

But Sorcha goes, "We do not have to accept it."

I’m there, “What else can we do?”

“Twenty-thousand euros,” Sorcha goes.

Honor’s like, “No.”

“Twenty-five thousand?”

“Still no.”

“Thirty thousand?”

“Not for all the money in the world.”

Well, one thing is certain, it’s going to be a fun day in the church.