What's in a name? It is rare to be able to pick your own name. Often one does so in the heat of the moment, the first blush of youth, then, as age comes upon one, the name has stuck, and it's too late to change. All rather fine when one is happy with the choice - but perhaps a bit of a problem if you've chosen 'Moonblossomlovechild' in the 1970s and now you've got a respectable job, a mortgage and a group of friends among whom you swear you've never inhaled and they believe you. I'm happy with Ragnor. He's an old friend, rather like a comfy shoe once your feet have stopped growing or a particularly disgraceful hat that none of your friends or family entirely approve of but rather nifty for warming the ears on a cold morning. So what does Ragnor mean to me? Cherry Tobacco in curved pipes. Malt scotch in waterford crystal. Old tweed. A sleepy fox terrier on my foot and a warm fireplace not too far away. Tolkien, read in a soft leather chair, dry and warm when it's cold and wet outside. I have a home page, which is rather like my life, one vast unfinished project with masses of potential but rather little to show for itself at present. Perhaps that is why The Guide appeals to me so much.


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