The name’s Brian. Or it might be Derek.
When I read Nigel Quinlan’s the Cloak of Feathers some weeks ago, I was struck by his use of the – in my opinion – old-fashioned name Brian, for a 12-year-old hero. But this was Ireland, I reminded myself.
Not that they are old-fashioned, but that maybe the feel of a name is different; that it doesn’t signify a certain decade. My Brians are all ten years older than I am.
Also, this Brian had a friend – more like an enemy to begin with – called Derek. Also, not so much a name for a 12-year-old, I thought.
Then I came to read The Misfits Club by Kieran Crowley. His hero is called Brian. Also 12. He doesn’t have a friend called Derek, but the grandmother in the book decided to call Brian Derek, for some reason.
When I’d got that far, the coupling of those two names chimed, and I went and double-checked that it was Brian and Derek in the earlier book. That I wasn’t just dreaming Brians and Dereks for no reason.
I then asked the Resident IT Consultant how old a Brian would be, in his opinion. He went to school with some Brians, but added that ‘it is an Irish name, of course.’
So perhaps that’s it. Brian is nice and fresh in Ireland. Whereas here I’d be surprised to meet a small boy called that. Or Derek.
They are not exactly Finns. Do you remember my piece on Finns, many years ago? Don’t answer that. You won’t. But it was one of these little filler posts I wrote, which took me by surprise and became very popular, with much debate. I especially liked the Finn who so swiftly got rid of a Cathy. And Urban is still available if anyone wants him?