What do you mean there is more than one of him?!


My surname, Sleep, is an unusual name. It derives from the Cornish language for ‘marshy place’. Couple this with the unusual forename ‘Darren’ and I could be forgiven for thinking I was unique…

Then one day nearly 20 years ago I got an email at work, an environmental science institute.

The email was from myself – at another environmental science institute.

Apparently I was also working in the Canadian forest service as well as in the UK. I actually understand this. If I had been travelling to Canada every day to work it would explain my tiredness. No worries. (Except the only-getting-one-salary part anyway.)

Reading further, the email was from another Darren Sleep who had spotted my name on a scientific paper. Not only are there two Darren Sleeps but both work in environmental science and are roughly the same age. We are connected on Linkedin now, though his career has moved into directorship territory. Oddly, he lived for a time in Quebec, not so far from my friend Dominique in Montreal. He now seems to be in Ontario.

It gets weirder….

Ten years later he got in touch again. He had received an unexpected package from Vodafone. On enquiring he was told that it was a mistake and that it should have gone to Darren Sleep in the UK. He had got in touch to tell me my package was delayed, which was kind of him.

Except…I am not a Vodafone customer….

A quick google search revealed a third Darren Sleep living just across the Pennines in Yorkshire. A picture on his golf club website reveals another beardy middle aged guy. With the same glasses as me…

I am just off to change my name to Abercromby Wonderwaltzer. And maybe shave off half the beard. And wear Elton John specs. And dye my hair blue. That’ll sort them! I will be different!


Abercromby (formerly Darren)

14 thoughts on “Guest in Jest #89 The Arty Plantsman

  1. Abercromby Wonderwaltzer! 😂 I love your new name. What a fashion statement you would be! We could definitely feature you for the next month of When Fashion and Nature Collide. 💖 A fantastic story my friend and three Darren’s!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I love the new name! Gosh, I’m still laughing. The first time we spoke on Skype, I accidentally connected first with the other Darren Sleep from UK. Seems like a nice guy, he has sent me a “Hello” and a smiley but I have not talked to him… By the way, there are three Dominique Nancy, too. All of them on Facebook!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Haha. I can relate. I have a friend who’s a Yorkshireman, who I frequently rib about his careful attitude to money. He once sent me clipping from the letters page of a national newspaper along with a note saying, “if there’s something you’re trying to tell me, you can say it to my face. You don’t need to write to The Guardian.”

    When I read the clipping it was response to an article reviewing several high end Yorkshire restaurants. The letter pointed out that with the prices these establishments were charging, they clearly weren’t aimed at people from Yorkshire. The letter was signed, George Kitching, Cumbria… but it honestly wasn’t me.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Very good! Loved your skip over here to continue the story. Love your new name! How weird that there are 3 people with the same name and one not so far from you. It would be weirder if you were in contact with the Darren in the Pennines too! Have a great weekend Abercromby LOL 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. LOL! 😀 This is sooo good! I really have tears in my eyes from laughing, Darren!! 😂 I think your new name is wonderful – until you’ll come across a couple of other guys having the same one. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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