Tuesday, 26 April 2011

V is for Vanda

Vanda is an uncommon first name. Except perhaps in my family.  My goodness, you should have been at that family wedding where there was a Vanda, a Fonda and a Wanda in the same room!

My mom was Christened "Vanda Maria."  I was always surprised by that.  Surely Vanda isn't a Saint's name?  Well apparently, there was a Saint Vando, also known as Wando von Fontenelle, who was a Benedictine Abbot in France in the 8th Century.  Would you believe there was also a Blessed Vanna?  Short for Giovanna.  I never thought of Vanna being a nickname for Giovanna.  She's also known as Blessed Joan of Orivieto.  Anyway...
Vanda is also a type of orchid.  This picture is courtesy of Keattikorn.  You'll see on Fotosearch that Vandas come in a variety of colours and shapes.  Check out the blog Another Yard in Fort Pierce to see more beautiful Vandas.

One year, I bought my mother a Vanda orchid for her birthday.  I was pretty proud of that idea.  Unfortunately, the orchid probably needed a specialized environment.  I don't think it ever flowered.  Bummer.
 Agatha Christie had characters named Vanda in two of her books.  Vanda Polonska appeared in "N or M?"  That's one of the Tommy and Tuppence books, which I love.  There is also a Vanda Chevenix in "Dead Man's Mirror" or at least in the Poirot episode.

By coincidence, there is also a murder mystery writer from New Zealand named Vanda Symon.  I haven't read any of her books yet, but I noticed this blog post of hers which reviews the book "The Poisonous Pen of Agatha Christie" by Michael C. Gerald.  I went on an Agatha Christie tear a couple of years ago and read every one of her books and short stories that I could get my hands on.  I still have to read one last one, "The Clocks."  Our library didn't have it in print form.

One last thing about Vanda: Vandas are great cooks.  In our house, when a dish has been particularly well-prepared, we say it's been "vandalized."

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