A is for ......ARKLE! Isn't that just so obvious! While I was visiting Kathy this morning I picked up on a new meme – I know I said I would only do the Sunday Stealing and not over commit myself but well, this one looked fun! Kathy provided a link to her friend Jenny who has devised a meme called Alphabe-Thursday, I won't repeat all of the rules, have a look and check it out for yourself!
Anyway, as I say A is for Arkle. When I married and took the name I believed that I was part of a unique English family with possibly the most unusual surname in the whole wide world. John's family hailed from the north east of England and although he knew a fair bit about his extended family he thought that they were the only ones. Wrong – there are Arkles all around the globe.
Let me bore you for a while with my absolute favourite tale of Arkle-ing. About 11 years ago, when access to the World Wide Web was more limited, I took up the challenge of finding other people with your surname around the world. I used a search engine call Bigfoot and entered our family name. It returned about 12 links. The top one was for an Arkle based in an area where there had recently been a high school shooting – somehow it didn't seem right to contact them. Instead I went right to the bottom, took a deep breath and mailed a guy called Will Arkle, explaining what I was doing, asking him to excuse me for contacting him and giving every opportunity for him to totally ignore me. He didn't ignore me. He wrote back. I wrote back. We got to know each other in the ether, we learnt about each other's families. Eventually he invited us to visit. Gulp – apart from what we had disclosed via email we knew nothing about each other.
To cut a long story short, we visited Will and his family in 2001. They made us very welcome in their home in Joplin, Missouri (yes – Joplin gets a mention in that great song about Route 66) and we had the best time ever. Will and his wife Jo are an older couple with offspring nearer my age. This is how we became such good friends with Scott & Shirley with whom we have since spent many a happy holiday.
So I hope you forgive my self indulgent choice for A and appreciate my reasons for choosing it! Since meeting up with our Missouri 'cousins' we have also found other Arkle's virtually all over the world through Facebook and other networking sites – if you're feeling brave, give it a go with your surname. You never know where it might take you!
Now for B...I'll need to start planning for next week, any ideas?