Being called Wall is a bit irritating.
You’d be amazed how many people mishear it: “sorry? War? Wool?” I often have to spell it out, or find myself tapping the brickwork behind me.
School nicknames wrote themselves; “wally”, or references to China were common (“you’re not that great, wall”). My own favourite was Max – chosen by those who saw “M.Wall” on the class list and couldn’t resist uncorking their new marker. (Younger readers might need to google Max Wall at this point).
But there are benefits. When the Australian cricket team were at another highpoint 20 years back I often heard phrases like “Another great shot from Mark Waugh”. This allowed a momentary daydream of hitting a boundary straight from the sweet spot through the diving cover fielders and humbly raising my bat, taking the applause from the crowd (younger readers might need to be reminded that sports events used to have crowds.)
This week brought another moment of pride for us Walls as YouGov announced their long awaited survey into the nation’s favourite ice creams.
When asked “What is your favourite ice lolly?” 28% said a Magnum, with Fab, Solero, Twister and Feast way behind. Setting aside the unsavoury thought that the last four sound like activities at a risqué suburban party, this brought me a real sense of happiness.
Why? Four of the top five are Wall’s ice creams. Although I have nothing to do with the firm, it seems my namesakes are still at the top of the tree when it comes to milk and cream based frozen produce.
It gives me hope that although this summer has been a new and not un-challenging experience, we can still rely on some things. A liking for Walls perhaps?
So I could be wrong; maybe it’s my first name that needs revising instead: Magnum Wall anyone?