I was named after the French noun: ‘Singer’ from my Scottish God mother.
To be honest, I was not much of a singer, or one at all… even though I’ve recently suffered from vocal nodules (
but that was from singing, albeit horribly, in the shower). Till this day I’ve had little to no interest in signing up for music clubs or auditioning for cheesy televised singing competitions. So what expectations did my family have for me when they agreed with my name giver’s suggestion? Let’s start with the story that she gave me:
Trish, god bless her soul, had journeyed to France on a whim to explore the sights, sea and the champagne. The bustling city of Paris had welcomed her with open arms, as she toured the museums and gobbled down the desserts. In the early morning, she strolled through Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, and marvelled at the foliage; the delicate flower petals and the variation of colours they wore.
Naming me had been on her mind since she travelled there. She looked at pamphlets of the flowers, hoping that a name would fall into her lap. However, a woman singing classical music had caught her attention instead. She didn’t sound like any conventional singer, it was a mixture of cries, opera, whistle notes and other complexities. Trish fell in love with the melody and concluded that all French people sounded this beautiful when they sang. Into the night she got a call from Whipps Cross and whisked herself back to London on March the 2nd. She arrived just in time to hear me
cry ‘sing’, and that was when she finalised the name for my parents. To be fair, they agreed with the name because it sounded ‘unique’ at the time.
Even though it’s not that clear as to why Trish decided to name me after a screaming woman, my personal expectation of Chantelle derived from this hilarious fantasy that whenever I entered the room or my name is called, there is a beautiful woman with wings and a harp descending from the Heaven’s, singing opera, with confetti and petals thrown.