Friday, 31 December 2010


A strange fact: on my birth certificate my second Christian name is 'Drananet'; and when I went to the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths to get a copy of the certificate for the rector of the boarding school, the woman at the counter told me that she could not alter 'Drananet' to 'Francis', which it really was, which it was intended by my parents to be. She could not alter Drananet to Francis because the people in the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths had to go by what was entered in the church register. Apparently, what the distracted parish priest of our town had scribbled for my second forename looked more like Drananet than anything else. Therefore my name on any birth certificate issued by the Registry would have to be Ciaran Drananet O'Driscoll - unless I lodged an appeal, which would take about 5,000 years to conclude. 
And so, it appeared to have been decreed by fate that I was a Drananet, which sounded like some kind of minor monster: a small dragon (dragonet) or a lesser version of Count Draco, of Dracula (draconet, draculet), who was born to breathe fire or suck blood if the conditions were right; which they never were, of course, and so I had to be content with sucking my own blood or burning myself up inside.

From memoir in progress, 'The Hungarian for Cheese' © Ciaran O'Driscoll 2010

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