QParty First Thoughts

Claire and I are back from QMoon now (in Italy, as you’ll have guessed if you read the four virtual postcards I posted to my blog), and it was a fantastic trip right up until we went to come home and everything went wrong. You’d be amazed how much trouble you can cause for yourself by when language barriers get in your way. For example, something I’ve learned is that when you’re trying to explain to an airport official who speaks only Italian why it is that the zip on your bag is broken, you should not use the words, "I’m sorry, my bag is exploding," because it turns out that doesn’t translate very well. I’ve also learnt that the correct way to get through passport control without trouble is not to be deliberately enigmatic: for instance, when an immigration officer says "That’s an unusual name you’ve got, isn’t it, sir?" you should not respond, "Why yes, yes it is."

There’s a story for another day in there somewhere, but suffice to say that despite the fact that we were not allowed to get onto the flight we were supposed to be on – to Liverpool – we were eventually allowed onto a ‘plane headed to Stansted, London, which isn’t quite the same thing but is still in the UK so that’s a step.

We’re back in Preston, now, and we’ll be back in Aberystwyth tomorrow (Monday) afternoon.

In any case, what I wanted to do was to share with you links to the great number of fantastic posts that people have made online about QParty. I’ll say more about QParty itself later, but for now – here’s what other people have been saying:

The official QParty photo gallery will launch this week, too, and I’ll be sharing with you some of the many pictures our friends took of the event in nice hi-res, printable glory, as well as sharing with you the results of the QFrame idea (remember those big clip frames at QParty? no; of course you don’t, you were completely pissed). Until then…


9 replies to QParty First Thoughts

  1. A couple of deeds poll later, and Claire and I are half-way to having changed our surnames. Our new surname: Q. I hereby declare this blog post to be the official FAQ of the Dan/Claire name change. So there, Ms Q.
    1. You’ve changed your names?
    Yes, we’ve changed our names. I’m now “Dan Q”, and she’s “Claire Elizabeth Q”. We’ve signed deeds poll and it turns out that’s all you need to do.
    2. How do you spell your new name?
    Q. The letter Q. Just Q. That’s it.
    3. Like Q from Star Trek or Q from James Bond?
    No, like Q, the set of all rational numbers.
    4. Why did you change your names?
    For some time now we’d discussed changing our names so that we had the same surname. We’ve always liked the idea that when you become a family of your own, distinct from your parents, you should be entitled to choose a new surname for yourselves.
    5. So this is like you “tying the knot”, then?
    Not really. But if you were waiting for us to get married someday, this is the closest thing you’ll prbably ever get to it (unless we have a party sometime to commemorate being together), so if it helps you to think of it like that, yes.
    6. Why did you pick the letter “Q” as a surname?
    It’s a cool letter. It’s uncommon, quirky, and is always followed by a U. Except now. Other letters considered and rejected for the role include A, B, C, P, T, X, Z, and Y.
    7. Why did you pick a surname that neither of you already had?
    Fair’s fair. Plus, we wanted something that’s pretty much unique. Apart from an 80s singer whose stage name is Stacey Q, we don’t know of anybody who has our surname.
    8. WTF?
    No. Q.
    9. You know how much work this is going to take, right?
    Tell me about it. It took me ages just to work out how to change my name in GMail. Now I’ve got to get certificates and sort out my bank, my other bank, my credit card, the DVLA, the passport agency, the electoral roll, the utility and service companies…
    Yeah, we know it’ll be a lot of work.
    10. Database administrators will hate you, you know.
    We’ll hate them too, if their regexen don’t support single-character surnames. By the end of the year, I predict that we’ll be in at least three or four databases as Q-space-space-space. Not to mention a few places as Que or Queue. Fuck ’em.
    11. How did your families take the name change?
    Predictably to good. My mum laughed. My dad laughed, eventually. Her dad immediately assumed we were trying to commit some kind of bank fraud, and then laughed. The eldest of my two sisters sent me a text message reading simply “Disowned!” So, pretty well. And some of them actually had some useful practical advice about stuff.
    12. Are you changing your signatures, too?
    Yes, but we’re not putting them online, for obvious reasons.
    13. Does this mean we’re allowed to say ‘DanQ’ in a silly voice instead of thank you now?
    If you insist. You were allowed to say it before, of course, too. But it wasn’t funny then.
    If there are any questions I’ve not covered, let me know!
    The questions below were asked after this blog post was originally published.
    14. Why not X?
    It’s been done before. To death. Malcolm X and many of his supporters, for example. Plus it’s a little predictable. Q is a far cooler surname than X.
    15. Did you, in your decision process, consider the effect this surname might have on your children?
    Yes. In the event that we have children, they are likely to – being children – hate or be embarrassed their parents for one thing or another no matter what we do. This way, we’re giving the hypothetical sprogs either (a) something they can genuinely dislike us for or (b) something cool and unusual that they’ll be proud of. It all depends on their outlook, and I’m sure that there would be times in their lives that they would love, and times that they would loathe, their unusual surname.
    If they are particularly bothered by it, they will be able to change it when they’re 16, whether or not we approve (although in all likelyhood, we won’t care either way).
    16. You do realise you’ve called yourselves after an abbreviation, don’t you? [“Q” = “question” in many FAQs]
    I do now.
    17. And if you adopt/have a child, please can you call it something like Francis Adam? / Have you thought of changing your first name to ‘Snooker’ or maybe ‘Fuh’ / etc.
    Thankfully, we haven’t yet brainstormed all of the possible funny names that could precede “Q”. Keep them coming, but don’t expect them all to appear in the Q FAQ.
    18. How is it pronounced? Is it “queue” or “qwuh” or what?
    It’s pronounced like “queue” (and, I suppose, “cue”): the name of the letter Q.
    19. Can you legally have a number or a punctuation mark as part of your name?
    The short answer: No.
    The longer answer: Within the UK, there are certain restrictions on naming (at least, if you’re a UK resident). Firstly, you must have at least two names. Secondly, your surname must consist only of letters and (sometimes) simple punctuation like apostrophes (O’Reilly) and hypens (for multi-barelled surnames). And it’s not allowed to be blasphemous. Your first name must not imply that you have a title (e.g. Sir, Duke, Lord, King, etc.). Pope might be allowed, but I’m not sure.
    It’s a pity, or I’d have probably been Huntl3y long before now. The 3 is silent.
    20. Try and be interesting without adopting pointless name changes.
    It’s not phrased as a question, anonymous coward, but I’ll address this one anyway:
    To state that our name change is pointless or is an attempt to draw attention is to misunderstand our reasons. The choice of name certainly is attention-seeking (let’s face it, it’s a damn cool name!), but the fact that we have changed it is not.
    I’d love to hear why you think this, though, if only you’d care to tell us who you are.
    Further Reading

    Writing to all the companies I deal with, informing them of my name change.
    An unusual letter from the Passport Service, accompanying my new passport.
    The first of my feedback after QParty, the party we had to commemorate the name change.
    The first of my QMoon Postcards, the honeymoon Claire and I went on after the party.
    Some other Q-related stuff on my blog.

  2. “Why yes, yes it is.”

    Sounds like the obvious answer to me…

    And I suppose the reason your zip was broken was because they don’t like you locking your bags and someone broke it looking in…

  3. Didn’t lock my bag, and zip wasn’t broken while in their possession. Was a shoddy zip that just fell apart in Venice (the second time around) when the bag was only slightly over-stuffed. I was just trying to explain this situation to airport security when I made my unfortunate choice of words.

    Still, back in Aber today.

  4. Sounds like you had a good time both during and after the Q Party. Sorry we never made it but Mr Bank Manager wouldn’t give us any money to come out to play

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